My husband and I have been reading the autobiographical sketch of Ellen White in the first volume of Testimonies for the Church. It’s very good and quite exciting. We’re always trying to find little slots in our day when we can squeeze in another chapter. I never realized that Mrs. White had so many personal spiritual struggles. This book is really helping me to see her as a human and it makes all of her other writings make so much more sense as well. I find that I can relate to her on way more levels than I thought I could. She always seemed kind of up on a pedestal.
When we were reading yesterday morning, while Arlen was making breakfast, something we were reading disturbed me greatly. Ellen had a son. He almost died due to some surrounding conditions, but God spared his life. So if we’re following – she has a son, she almost looses him, she gets him back, and this next part is what I struggled with. The White’s were quite poor and they were doing a lot of traveling to spread the work of the Lord. They realized that they could not continue in God’s work and take care of the baby, so they decided to give there son up to another couple for a few years. What?!? Give away your son?!? OK – I’m a family studies major, so I’m sure you can imagine why this is difficult for me to grasp. Why would God give someone a son, almost take him away, give him back, and then take him away for like 5 years again? That’s crazy!!
First of all, I struggle with this whole idea of her giving up her first son. To me, this is difficult to reconcile in my mind. I guess it’s certainly better for the child to have a good stable home for the first few years of his life than to be emotionally, and maybe otherwise neglected. I just don’t understand why God would give them a child, almost let him die, and them make them give it up again. This is where I struggle. So often I let reason win over God’s command. I’m sure God had His reasons for what He did. I guess it’s not my job to know them all right away, or some of them even until Heaven. (Maybe he knew that the White’s would not have the financial means to care for their child as they should). If this is what God called the White’s too, it was important that they were able to put His calling before their desires, and maybe even everything that made sense to them. In these times it’s important to trust that God knows what He’s doing and that He will help things to turn out alright in the end.
“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. I suppose that trusting in this statement is part of what it’s all about. If we are striving to serve God and follow His will, the things that we do won’t always make sense, but we have to have faith, blind faith. We have to trust that He will in fact, take care of everything. I pray that I can have that kind of faith and trust in God!