Faith & Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

            The title for this week’s Grace Notes comes from our new Office Administrator, Melissa Bottelier. She suggested this: Flying by the Seat of Our Pants. That works for me.

            Take a young, newly married young couple you know and love: Peter and Bailey Heckman. On Monday, Bailey and PJ were just a few short weeks away from the birth of their first child. A year ago, they were weeks away from their wedding. A lot has happened to these two in the last twelve months.

            On Tuesday evening, PJ and Bailey drove to the ER of St. Mary Medical Center because PJ had a pain in his leg that wasn’t going away. Tests revealed that PJ had a whopper of a blot clot in his leg with smaller clots in his chest. He was admitted to the hospital and hooked up an IV to relieve him of his clots.  

            On Thursday morning, Bailey stopped by the church for a few hours before her weekly check-up with her doctor. I thought Bailey looked tired and stressed—for good reason. Late Thursday afternoon, PJ called me to tell me that Bailey’s blood pressure was high and her doctor had her admitted to St. Mary Hospital. Bailey and PJ are in separate units but on the same floor of the hospital—how romantic!

            Today, Friday morning, Bailey will be induced to deliver her daughter.

            This is not how Bailey and PJ planned it. But then life pays little attention to our plans.

            We plan and God laughs. Maybe a year from now, when a first birthday and a second anniversary are being celebrated comfortably at home, this young couple will laugh. Now, they rest secure in God’s loving hands. Using those everlasting, loving hands He unfolds His plans for us. I’d like to share the first of two quotes by Pastor Tim Keller of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. “No matter what precautions we take, no matter how well we have put together a good life, no matter how hard we have worked to be healthy, wealthy, comfortable with friends and family, and successful with our career — something will inevitably ruin it.”

            Here’s the second quote from Pastor Keller: “Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God and into more stability and spiritual power than you can imagine.”