“No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11
It was a Monday night when I read these words, several weeks after I learned that Drew and I were pregnant with our first child.
In just a few short weeks we had already loved, prayed for, and dreamed about meeting the little one growing inside of me. I wrote in my Bible next to this verse “what a great promise!” As I thought about what it would be like to feel this baby move inside of me, what it would be like to hold him or her for the first time, what it would be like the first time this precious gift smiled at me, I claimed Psalm 84:11 excitedly. God was surely not withholding anything good from me! Thank you, God for your blessing, for graciously giving me a child for whom I had prayed!
That Wednesday, Drew and I had our first appointment with the doctor. We were eight weeks along and anticipated hearing our little one’s heartbeat. I was lying down, waiting anxiously for the doctor to turn the screen around and show us the ultrasound. Her face remained emotionless as she peered at the screen. I was suddenly aware of how quiet the room was. Shouldn’t we be hearing a beating heart? “I’m sorry,” the doctor began to say. Disappointment washed over me. In the silence of the room, “no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” filled my mind. Did I still believe that? How could I believe that?
Two days later, on Friday, my body physically experienced the miscarriage. While I was doubled over, my abdomen cramping in a way I have never felt before, pain searing through my body, blood pouring out of me, “no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” replayed in my thoughts almost rhythmically. Like a song I couldn’t get out of my head. Could I claim this verse now? Now that I lost a child? A child I prayed for and longed for? A child that I dreamed of meeting, holding, teaching, loving? This did not seem like a good thing. This felt like a mean trick. This felt more like God snatching a good gift from me. The gift that He had just given me. Why would He give it if He was only going to take it away? My mind reeled with thoughts of accusation, disappointment, confusion. No good thing do you withhold, God? Then what is going on? Through the tears and the pain, I tried to trust that this verse was still mine to claim.
Even in the midst of loss do you still believe that God is not withholding anything good from you? Do you still believe that He is faithful? Do you still believe that He is good and loving and trustworthy?
Can I say yes to those questions? Can I say yes even in the hard times? Even on the hard days?
I have had many tearful conversations with God since the miscarriage. I have poured over God’s Word, the only place I seem to find true peace and hope. The more I read, the more I pray, the more I see that God is good. He is faithful. He loves me and grieves with me. His purposes – although not always clear to me – are good. If you and I can trust Him in the good moments of our life, then we can trust Him in the hard moments also. Because He is unchanging. He never viciously causes harm and heartache for His children. Like Job, we learn to pray, “God gives and takes away but blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
Does this feel impossible sometimes? Yes.
I know you have suffered loss, too. We cannot leave this world without experiencing loss of some kind. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a dream, the loss of a job, the loss of an unborn child. It’s all painful and confusing and unimaginably difficult. But I am walking a road where God is using that loss to draw me closer to Him. This road, while not one I would have chosen for myself, is teaching me about His love, about his faithfulness, about what it looks to trust Him to heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds (Psalm 147:3).
What road of loss have you walked? What parts of God’s character are evident to you because of that journey?
In the midst of it all – the blessings, the answered prayers, the days filled with joy as well as the pain, the disappointments, and the days filled with tears – are you able to believe that God is good? In the midst of it all may we repeatedly believe, “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”