Summary: How many of you have ever said, “I never want to go through what I had to go through but I am glad I went through it”? For the hoping heart, God ALWAYS has another plan! It was that way for Jesus on the cross and it is that way for you if you have a hopin

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Text: Luke 22:14-18

Before my wife and I were ever married we had discussed wanting four children. After having our first two, we entered negotiations, rethought our journey in life and wondered if we were called to have any more. That lasted four years when enough time had elapsed for us to forget all the reasons why we stopped--and #3 came along. And what a blessing!

After #3 though, another subject came to the table—what to do when we didn’t want any more children in the family? In the midst of deliberations, it was discovered that only ONE of us needed to visit the doctor for there to be a remedy to this situation.

What I didn’t know was that Melissa and her doctor had formed a coalition and Melissa gave me all of the reasons why it was better if I was the one who would go-- complete with pamphlets!--and have a simple procedure done--complete with sound effects, *snip-snip*. She made a pretty good case and so an appointment was scheduled. But God had another plan.

The week of the appointment, I had recurring low feelings. With each approaching day it got worse. When I have feelings like that I had a wise pastor’s wife who helped train me to spend extra time with the Lord to figure out why it is happening. All that day I just felt like crying at the thought of going to that appointment. I didn’t exactly know whe but I finally came to the conclusion God didn’t want me to go. I shared my heart with Melissa and we agreed that God must have another plan. Maybe a fourth child was for us after all!

If you know anything about the Kesslers, you will know that everyone’s birthday is in July. Everyone’s but mine which is celebrated with Jesus in December! We decided we didn’t want another child in July and in due time we discovered that a baby was on its way to our home--not in July--but in the month of dear ole dad! December was going to bring an extra blessing to our home. But God had another plan.

After three months Melissa had a miscarriage. I can still remember the night we told the kids at family time and our darling 7 year old little daughter just cried and cried. But we assured them that God must have another plan. It would take some time to heal our hearts to hope again. And that came with a couple of bumps along the way.

A girl in our youth group had a pregnant sister in the hospital and so I went to visit her. She had carried the baby full-term. On Monday’s check up things were fine. It was now Friday and things had changed. I went in to pray with them and offer what I could. Before the next Monday, the baby would be born dead. I heard the news from our church secretary and a flood of emotion took me back to my own pain. She then told me they wanted me to do the funeral. My first response was, in tears, “I don’t know if I can.” But God had another plan.

I went to meet with the couple, counseled with them, prayed with them, listened to their story and we put together a service that honored the life—however short it was—of that dear baby. Sin is the reason and answer for death in our world. The Bible tells me so. It is SIN that brings death; it is GOD who brings HOPE in the midst of death. And God brings the VERY BEST kind of hope --doesn’t HE?

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