Tag Archives: God’s Sovereignty

When you’re 7-year-old is dying…continued

A few days ago I shared part of a blog post written by a dear friend whose 7-year-old daughter is dying from brain tumors (read that post here). Each day brings new challenges for Willie and Stacey as they lovingly care for their daughter, Lydia, and tenaciously cling to their faith in the sovereign God of the universe. Here is another excerpt written on Tuesday, October 18 (read the Byrds’ Nest blog here). Read it and cry with them. Read it and pray for them. Read it and marvel at God’s sustaining grace…


I think yesterday ranks as the hardest day of my life. September 11th, 2009, diagnosis day, was a day of shock, but yesterday was just plain hard. Witnessing her in pain is too much to bear. As we were traveling down the road at 4 am, my sweet man at the wheel, I was reminded of another middle-of-the-night trip to the hospital.

January 30th, 2004 ~ Willie driving and me having labor pains, knowing that soon our precious God-gift, wrapped in the flesh of a baby girl, would be ushered into this world…into our arms. Yesterday morning ~ Willie at the wheel, me hovering over her ~ me, with pains of my heart and her, with pains in her precious head, wondering if we would soon be giving her back to Him…into His arms.

I hovered over her, kissing her head and whisper-praying to our Father, “Lord, please take away her pain.  Take her if you want. She’s yours anyway, but thank you for letting us have her for a little bit. You can take so much better care of her than I can.” Don’t get me wrong, I love her with ever fiber of my being, but trying to make her stay on this broken earth just doesn’t seem right. Not when we know she wants to go Home. She’s expressed to us in many sweet, precious ways that she longs to be in heaven. To be free from these tumors. To be free from this painful world.

He knew even before He made her His plan for her.
His perfect plan.
Not 87 years on this earth.
Not 47.
Not 17.
7½ she’d say more precisely. I feel that her 7½ years have not been wasted, but have been used for His glory. I pray her story will continue to etch His story deep into some hearts.

He doesn’t want us clinging to His gifts,

He wants us clinging tightly to Him.

My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me. –Psalm 63:8


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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Children, Death, Parenting Children


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When Your 7-Year Old is Dying…

So, how exactly do Christian parents handle the shocking news that their 5-year-old daughter has a brain tumor that, barring God’s direct intervention, will bring about a premature conclusion to her life? Let me introduce to you Willie and Stacey Byrd.

Willie and Stacey used to be very active and vital members of my church. I say “used to be” only because Willie’s work opportunities caused them to move away. Their daughter, Lydia, now age 7, was diagnosed with a tumor near the base of her brain stem two years ago. Since then their lives have been filled with doctors’ appointments, scans, tests, questions, tears, AND FAITH in their Lord.

This past weekend all five Byrds, Willie, Stacey, Lydia, Luke (age 6) and Sam (age 3), moved into a new apartment. Stacey writes about the move, her love for decorating, and lovely Lydia’s room. You can read the whole blog here, but I especially enjoyed this excerpt and thought you would too:

I spent the majority of the weekend making the new space our home. Decorating is something I truly enjoy. Making a house a home is one of my passions.  

I love our new nest. I especially love a certain room painted yellow per her request and filled with pink things. I’ve had a crux of emotion these past few days. . . I love this place. I love this place with pink things strewn all over. It makes me very sad to think of this place with all things pink removed.

Will I still love this place when she’s not here?  

I had to turn this thought on its ear. This place is not her forever home. The place He has prepared for her is so, so much better than anything this decorating-crazy-momma byrd could ever create.    

I decorate temporary dwellings on this earth…

Jesus prepares eternal dwellings in heaven.

 I think she’ll like it much better there…

her sweet little yellow-walled room

won’t even compare.

Willie and Stacey: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” May your faith in the Lord Jesus and His sovereign plan for your family continue to be so very courageous!


Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Children, Death, Parenting


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Treating God Like Chopped Liver

“What am I, chopped liver?” If the Lord ever used urban language, He might have used this expression in 2 Kings 1. King Ahaziah sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, as to whether he would recover from an injury he sustained when he fell through the lattice in his upper chamber. Instead of seeking God’s face for the answer, he wanted to consult with the “lord of the flies” (the meaning of “Baal-zebub”).

Bottom line: God was being treated like chopped liver! He was being ignored. He was being viewed as having little value or worth. And that proved to be a deadly mistake.

To guide your reading of 2 Kings 1, here are some plot points:

  • The Injury (2a)
  • The Inquiry (and Idolatry, 2b)
  • The Interception (and Insult, 3-4)
  • The Interrogation (5-8)
  • The Infernos (9-12)
  • The Intercession (13-14)
  • The interruption (15-18)

Four Life Lessons from 2 Kings 1.1-18:

1. There are no accidents with God.

Ahaziah’s fall in verse 2 may appear to be an accident, but you need to read 1 Kings 21.21-22 where God promised Ahab, Ahaziah’s father, that all his sons would be cut off. In other words, God’s sovereign plan was being fulfilled. Ahaziah hardened his own heart, did that which was evil, and treated God like chopped liver.

God is always accomplishing His divine purposes. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115.3). “Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135.6).

2. Occult involvement must be avoided.

Just like Ahaziah, scores of people today (and some of them Christians!) want to know the future, but not in the way God has prescribed. They check their horoscopes. They call a psychic hotline or consult with a palm reader. They play with a Ouija board. God’s position on such activity has always been definitive: Stay away!

Notice Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 10.19-20: What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.

So, Paul is issuing a stern warning: Investigation can open the door for demon infiltration!

If you want to know more about the future, read the Bible!

3. Disregarding God is always an act of stupidity.

There a number of ways we do it: blatant disobedience, ignoring biblical preaching and teaching, snubbing the admonition of our parents, turning a deaf ear to the wise counsel of a loving friend or coach, etc.

And when you treat God like chopped liver, you run the risk of getting out of God’s will, leaving His protective care, facing His corrective punishment, or even meeting an untimely death (just ask the Corinthians)!

4. Persistent impenitence leads to an incredibly hard heart and inevitable judgment.

Ahaziah’s life story is tragic and sad. It’s one filled with rebellion and hatred of God. He blatantly refused to repent of his sinful ways. He was brazen, arrogant, and threw away his last opportunity to repent. He traveled that awful path previously taken by the Egyptian Pharaoh who conversed with Moses. He, too, hardened his heart and God destroyed him.

There is a time – we know not when – a place we know not where,

That marks the destiny of men – from glory to despair.

There is a line – by us unseen – which crosses every path,

A hidden boundary between – God’s mercy – and His wrath.

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy (Proverbs 28:13 ESV).


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Mistaken identity and divine sovereignty…

The Today Show featured two families who experienced an incredibly unusual experience of mistaken identity. You may recall the event that took place back in 2006. Nine students from Taylor University were involved in a horrible auto accident, with eight of them dying. The only survivor was a blond-haired young lady, who had been thrown from the van, and was found with a purse by her side. Someone put the purse with the girl as identification for her transport to the hospital. Badly injured, she would spend time in ICU and a total of five week in the hospital after the accident. The girl’s name? Since the purse belonged to Laura Van Ryn, that’s who she was believed to be for the next five weeks.

However, as she slowly recovered and began speaking again, the bittersweet discovery was made that the surviving girl was not Laura Van Ryn, but actually Whitney Cerak. Laura was the one who died in the crash.

As you watch this video, you will hear two families speak clearly about their faith and confidence in the sovereignty of God. How refreshing to hear testimony like this on a major network television show! How encouraging for these two families to unashamedly speak about their Lord. See this emotional and God-honoring video interview here.

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Posted by on May 18, 2010 in Theology


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