For the past year or so the book by my bedside has been "Filling up the Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations in the Lives of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton" by John Piper. For some reason I have struggled to get into the meat of the book~ maybe because I really did not want to know the cost of bringing the gospel to the nations??? Yet every time I saw it lying there I felt it's calling to learn the cost. This morning as I was longing for encouragement in what God is doing I picked up the book, my Bible, a big cup of coffee and crawled into the recliner. I re-read the story of John Paton, reading a bit more carefully the part about when he had first gone to the island of Tanna and within the first 4 months of being there both his wife and his newborn son died of a sudden illness. Describing his loss he says:
"I felt her loss beyond all conception or description, in that dark land. It was very difficult to be resigned, left alone, and in sorrowful circumstances; but feeling immovably assured that my God and father was too wise and loving to err in anything that He does or permits, I looked up to the Lord for help, and struggle on in His work."
He goes on to say, when talking 15 years later after another child had died :
"Whatever trials have befallen me in my Earthly Pilgrimage, I have never had the trial of doubting that perhaps, after all, Jesus had made some mistake. No! my blessed Lord Jesus makes no mistakes! When we see all His meaning, we shall then understand, what now we can only trustfully believe that all is well- best for us, best for the cause most dear to us, best for the good of others and the glory of God."
And to top it all off (as if that wasn't enough encouragement) God sent a friend to visit to greatly encourage us, cards and emails and phone calls continued all day to remind us of the good work that God is doing, and being able to share at AWANA with friends who are walking beside us have kept our eyes on the cross. And besides all that, Trent is still in heaven. May the name of the Lord be praised for His good and perfect ways!