Circumstances Beyond Our Control


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"Though my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me" (Psalm 27:10).

The first indelible memory I have is the day of my 5th birthday. My mother had come to take me “home. ” I was passing out birthday cake to my little friends at the orphanage, and I was weeping. Even at that young age I knew I was safe there. It was a Catholic orphanage, and they must have done a wonderful job, because I did not want to leave them. To this very much later date, I wince when I hear criticism of the church, and especially of nuns, for they saved my life. Although I am not a Catholic now, I have the highest respect for those who offer their lives to noble causes.

When our oldest son committed suicide I decided I would like to know who my real father was (my mother was long dead, a possible suicide). The man who was my biological father had forsaken my unmarried and dysfunctional mother. Perhaps there would be a clue to my son's despondency to the point of self-destruction if I could understand the dynamics of this unusual couple. I joined a group that searches for relatives. As I listened month after month to stories of fruitless calls and trips, and the thousands of dollars and many years wasted, I knew then that I didn't need to know who my father was, for I knew who my Father was, is, and always will be, and that was all I needed to know.

Psalm 27 has been very dear to me over the years. Another verse that helped was Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew (chose) you, before you were born I set you apart . . . " Just think of the sorrows and indecisions that could be surmounted if we all believed we are chosen! That means that our Father thinks we are special, and it’s all right for us to act like we are special, if God gets the glory and thanksgiving.

I think the faith that God knows best and has ordained to us the external circumstances of our life helps us deal with the unexpected and shocking in life. No one is excused from the fire that molds character. The child does not know what is ahead but all the opportunities and duties which result from these circumstances are made for us, not by us. They give us a mission from God Himself, if we can but view it thus.


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