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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Sunday, July 21, 2013

God is not an ATM machine

Ever since the goats have arrived, our children have regularly prayed for them.  For weeks, most of Tabby's prayers included "please heal Nausette."  Nausette's sickness kept fluctuating.  We kept treating her the best we could.

Nausette and her babies Cloves and Nutmeg

Then last Monday morning, Tabby came back from milking to tell me that Nausette was dead.  The boys and I went out with her to check and be sure.  Sadly she was.  As I stood staring at her (I'll spare you a description) I felt sad.  On the one hand - I was glad she didn't have to struggle with her illness anymore.  On the other hand - I didn't want anything to happen to the L family's goats and besides, it was fun having her and I knew her babies loved her!

I had had Tabby let the babies out of their stall to see her, because I believe that animals understand death.  But the babies just kept trying get Nausette up (head butting her) so Tabby put them back in their stall until we could get Nausette out of there.

Thankfully my husband was able to come home from work to bury her.  With Solomon strapped on my back, I helped Frank lift Nausette into a wheelbarrow to move her to another area for burial.  She was a pretty heavy goat.  Her babies were so sad and kept calling her.  "Maaaaaaaa ..." 

Tabby is no longer praying for God to heal Nausette.  She is praying His protection on all the goats. A number of times in the last week, Hunter would just sigh and say something like "Poor Nausette.  She looked so sad dead.  I miss her."

Recently, Tabby's favorite chick Taffeta was missing when it was time to close up the chicken coop for the night.  Tabby couldn't find that little chick anywhere.

Taffeta the "Trisomy 18" chick (Silkie Bantam)
Tabby panicked and begged us to help look for her.  She was so upset and kept crying out to God to help her find Taffeta.  This went on for quite awhile.  She began to get really agitated with God for not answering quickly and as she wanted Him to.  (I'm sure we're all guilty of this!)  She loudly exclaimed she didn't understand why God didn't answer her right away!  After a few minutes of this I heard Frank tell her God didn't automatically just give us whatever we wanted right when we demanded it.  Tabby countered with "But He always helped me find Taffeta before when I prayed!"

As I continued to look for Taffeta, I thought about their conversation.  I remembered a dear friend once shared that she was upset because she had been praying and praying about something and God was not responding.  Her husband told her "God is not an ATM machine.  We can't just push buttons and make Him do what we want." 

I've thought about that at times.  Sometimes, it seems like He is.  We pray for things and He answers quickly with just what we want.  That subconsciously ranks up a bunch of "easily completed transactions" in our minds.  Besides, we're used to getting what we want when we want it in our society so we think prayers should work that way too.  Even Jesus said:

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." - John 14:13-14

So just be sure to tack on a "in Jesus name" at the end of your prayer and you're all set to get what you're demanding.  Right?

God is not an ATM machine.

No - God is so much more.  More than it is even possible for us to comprehend.

“'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord.   'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" - Isaiah 55:8-9

Have you ever prayed for something and felt frustrated when you didn't get the answer you wanted from God?  And then later on, you realize just how awful it would have been IF God had answered like you initially had prayed?  Ooops!  Good thing we're not in charge of the universe after all, right!

What about when terrible things happen to you?  Besides Lilly dying, I have had a number of really terrible things happen to me, both before and after I became a Christian.  But because I love God - and am trying my best to trust Him - I can take comfort in this verse:

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

I have some wounds that I still can not see any beauty in.  Yet.  But others - such as with Lilly's death - I continue to marvel at the beauty God has brought - and is still bringing from them.

So how did it turn out with Taffeta?  Tabby received her answer from God and finally found Taffeta  hiding in the coop!

Tabby with Taffeta (right) and Shiny (left)
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:38-39

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