For I proclaim the name of the LORD;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.
From the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:3,4)
Have you ever experienced that sinking feeling when the front end of your car crashes into another vehicle? ("Oh no! This changes everything.") Or perhaps have you ever been the subject of a dull headache when something that you'd forgotten to do comes to mind and you then hadn't the time to finish it? ("Well, this messes it all up!") Or the 'classic:' you're sitting in the car or airplane, well on your way to your destination, and that "What did I forget to pack?" thought finally dies away when you remember what you did indeed forget? ("There's a wrench thrown into this vacation.") The troubles that come with these instances are usually trivial and, at worst, inconvenient. They are also a weak comparison to my recent shift of perspective, but I hope that they will help you begin to understand what happened in my own life on July 25, 2007, a day I'm sure I will never forget.
Wednesdays are usually very uneventful for me: I go to work, I eat my chicken sandwich for lunch, I go home and hug my wonderful girls. This Wednesday was different, though; at the doctor's office we would learn whether Marianna's new sibling was a boy or a girl! I left the office before the morning was in full swing and Angie called my cellphone; we love to talk to each other when we're both in the car, so this was normal and fitting. Other than both of us fretting over whether I'd make it to doctor's office before Angie was taken to the ultrasound room, I don't remember much of our phone call. But I do remember one thing: Angie expressed concern and said, "I hope everything is OK." Stepping into the "everything will turn out fine" shoes that every husband wears from time to time, I appropriately told her, "everything will turn out fine." I wouldn't say that I was wrong in fact, but I would say that I was wrong in my perspective...
You know what happened. After visiting two different doctors and crying many tears, my perspective changed. Not, of course, like my earlier examples, but in a way where the norm of everyday life comes wildly and painfully screeching to a halt. Not trivially, not inconveniently, but totally. My morning perspective had been happy and excited and carefree; my afternoon perspective became sorrowful and nervous and anxious. We couldn't yet put a name on our dear Poppy's condition, but we could clearly see that she was not as we expected. Everything had changed.
I've since thought about Psalm 139, where David speaks to God:
For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I have always believed those verses, but I've never believed them as now. Poppy herself is no accident; her condition is no mistake. Sure, this disease is the result of sin, but God Himself has formed our baby with His wisdom. Much as a skilled artist's practiced hands weave a beautiful tapestry, but far better, is how God's hands have woven our dear daughter.
So, I was wrong about what I said. Everything had not turned out "fine" as I had meant it. But, everything has turned out "fine" considering God's plan. Moses wrote, "His work is perfect," remember? I believed that before, but it's changed me now.
I was wrong about my perspective, too. Not everything had changed, just everything that Nathan had planned. The doctor's findings hadn't changed Poppy. Truth hadn't changed. God's plan hadn't changed. God's provision hadn't changed. Neither had His word, or His strength, or His comfort.
Poppy is beautiful. I don't care what anyone says, she's perfect and she's whole. I might have thought before July 25th that I wouldn't want her to be the way she is, but she is the way she is and I can't change her. God has made her, and I don't want her any other way.