31 Days of De-Stressed Living, Day 22: Rest

alone yet not alonePeople are calling the Oscar nomination for the title song of the limited- release film Alone Yet Not Alone not just a “dark horse,” but an “invisible horse.” Yet the passion and conviction of the title song’s message must have resonated with the Academy, despite the movie’s blatantly pro-Christian (and less than “PC”) message.

The deceptively simple title song, performed by the indomitable Joni Eareckson Tada, captured the spirit and courage of this woman (who lived the song long before she sang it).

The ability to let go, to trust in the goodness of divine providence, and to (wait for it) REST is not something that comes easy in times of crisis. And yet, it is precisely our ability to do that — to cultivate “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” — that prevents us from becoming bitter, and enables us to learn and grow even from the darkest experiences of life. Even (in the case of Tada) being confined to a wheelchair for life — and learning to paint with a brush between the teeth.

Tada 2

Photo credit: “Heaven — Your Real Home” by Joni Eareckson Tada/Joni and Friends

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“Why do babies die, Mom?”

My kids tend to zone in on the morbid. It’s wired into them, somehow … and it can pop into a conversation out of nowhere. I’m just saying.

Driving past an ambulance, the question comes from the back seat: “Why do babies die, Mom?”

That’s a good question. One that isn’t easy to explain even to another adult. But after a few days of thinking about it, I’m not sure I’ll ever come up with a better response than the one I gave off the cuff.

“Honey, each time God sends a child into the world, that baby takes three things with him (or her). She takes special gifts to share with others; and special challenges to make her strong and keep her humble. And she gets a job to do — a job that only SHE can do — for God. When that job is done, God takes her back to heaven to be with Him.

“For most people, that job takes a lifetime to do — most people are very old or very sick when their time comes. God gave me a job to be your mom, for example. But some get a job that doesn’t keep them here very long … The important thing is to share your gifts, work hard to live a life pleasing to God, and trust God with your story … to call you back to heaven when He’s ready for you to come.”

What would you have said?