Scripture assures us that for those who have believed on Christ, God has a perfect plan for good that is not deterred by what others may view as an unthinkable loss (Rom. 8:28). Through these trials He exposes us to the depth of His strength and the breadth of His peace, a measure of grace we would never have known otherwise (Phil 3:10). He opens our eyes to the source of true comfort, a message that the world around us is longing for but finds no answers to despite all their self-help psychology or endless entertainment. And now we have an open door to those we never could have touched before (2 Cor. 1:4). He tests the genuineness of our faith, and we learn that His strength is made perfect in our weakness as we place our complete dependence in Him (2 Cor. 12:9). He tenderly makes us aware that we “hold this treasure in earthen vessels” to show that the surpassing power comes from God and not from us (2 Cor. 4:7)!
With the safe delivery of Kara one week ago we have now experienced the profoundness of life and death in close proximity. It has been very sobering as well as stretching for us. But we can now personally attest to the realness of God's grace and joy through both the valleys and the mountaintops of life. And with Kara's birth we want to praise God for yet another reminder that He delights to do far beyond what we could ever ask or think (Eph. 3:20). We are not qualified for the task ahead, in all it's uncertainties and inevitable challenges. But we know the God who has already planned tomorrow. And He is not looking for talented, confident people to serve Him, but rather those who are simply willing to follow Him in full reliance, trusting in His character even when we may not understand His ways (I Cor. 1:27).
We chose the name Kara because it means "joy," and the joy that God gives surpasses all circumstances and remains undiminished through any tragedy. In a small way we can attest with Job, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, may the name of the Lord be blessed!" In John 15:11 Christ tells us that He has revealed Himself to us "so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." That "fullness" is a constant, abounding, complete joy. And Kara will be a regular reminder to us, so that we never forget the reality of Christ's joy in us.
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Rom. 15:13