Two years ago we stood before our church family and dedicated Jane Frances Martin to the Lord. We gathered with friends and family, we prayed over Jane and told the Lord “we are but stewards of this good gift”. We’ve dedicated all of our children to God. Both formally amongst our church family and privately as soon as Robert and I knew we were expecting. We’ve always known what it meant to give our children back to God and I can’t claim to be surprised when His ways are not mine.
Last week I was staring out the window watching my other children play. My thoughts wandered to the story of Abraham and Isaac. I felt my flesh rise up and say, “But You provided a ram for Abraham!” Instantly, the Lord replied, “I provided a ram for you, His name is Jesus.” I repented.
Sanctification is a painful process. When we dedicated Jane we meant it. She was His and He could have His way with her. What I wanted for Jane was to grow into a beautiful and smart young woman. To love the Lord and serve Him faithfully. God had different plans for how Jane’s life was meant to bring Him glory.
I thought we would give one child a home in our family, God’s plans were bigger. God asked us to give up one child, in order that many might have a home.
There are many ways God is redeeming Jane’s life and even her death for His glory. Here is an example of just one. Robert and I had been praying about our role is orphan care over the last three years. We were looking into adoption and usually experienced some kind of road block, we would shelf the idea and come back to it later. In the days after Jane’s death we had to make quick decisions. We asked people to give to Lifeline Children’s Services in lieu of flowers. The response was overwhelming. Lifeline told us they had never seen such a generous response in honor of one person’s life and many orphans would find a forever home because of Jane. All this time I thought we would give one child a home in our family, God’s plans were bigger. God asked us to give up one child, in order that many might have a home.
My ways would have looked different. I would have asked God to grow Jane into a woman that would have served as a faithful missionary, maybe adopting her own children. She could have opened her own orphanage, anything but this! But God’s ways are higher and God is good. We accept that now and we accepted it when we dedicated Jane to God.
Our definition of good may not be the same as God’s definition. But can’t we trust the Creator of the universe? Can’t we trust the One who provided His own son as a ram for us?
I don’t write this to cause fear or anxiety for others. I write this because we serve the same good God and I pray that you will see how “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Our definition of good may not be the same as God’s definition. But can’t we trust the Creator of the universe? Can’t we trust the One who provided His own son as a ram for us? The answer is yes, the answer is always yes.