I scrolled through my computer files looking for just the right post to recycle. Since I wrote a devotional every week for over twenty years, there were many to choose from, so I prayed that God would help me pick the right one. I opened an article I wrote many years ago, after the death of a friends’ infant. It was called Hard Questions and was one of the pieces that had received a lot of feedback from readers and an award or two. It was also a piece that was read by the father of that tiny baby, a young man who thanked me for giving him something that was “part of the healing.”
I read it through and thought, yes, this one should be posted again.
“But not now.” I heard and kept scrolling.
That was a few months ago. A few days ago, I came across the same article and felt that nudge that said, “Yes.” So I copied the file, did a bit of editing, gave it a new title (When Babies Die and There Are No Answers), and sent it off to one of the ezines I write for on Medium.com. I received a notice that one of the editors, a woman I have known for many years, (I’ll call her Grace), had approved the piece for publication.
Two days later I received another note from another friend telling me that Grace’s three-year-old grand-daughter had died suddenly the day before. That would have been the day after she read and approved my devotional.
I wept all day. Perhaps because I have just recently become a grandmother myself, I felt my friend’s loss deeply. I was stunned at the timing and prayed that God would use those mere words to bring comfort.
That night I attended our weekly Bible study at our church. Ordinarily, the weekly Bible study is launched in September or October at the latest, but, for a variety of reasons, it was delayed. We have just begun to study the book of Job, a book full of loss and pain, yet a book that pictures the power of a sovereign God and, in the end, gives us all hope.
He knew. He knew when it was not time for that piece to be published again, and when the time was right. He knew when we should begin to study the book of Job and how it would bring me to that place, once again, of being able to say, with Job, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job1:21).