Nothing takes God by surprise – Tom’s Post # 1

When launching this blog with why I started writing lyrics,” I referenced three CaringBridge posts by Tom Carpenter. Tom wrote them days before he died and below is the first one in its entirety.

I pray that his words will exalt Christ and be an encouragement to you.

“I am so thankful that nothing takes God by surprise.  God knew what was going to happen to me and set in motion all of the components that led me to deliverance from my most recent desperate circumstances.

I found myself in the dark of an early Friday morning crying out to God to help me.  If I said, ‘God help me’ once, I said it a hundred times.  Half of my body was dead weight to me.  I could not drag myself out of bed, and I was much afraid.  I could not bring myself to have the attitude of St. Paul to be ‘thankful in all situations.’  I only knew I needed help and I was alone in the dark.  But, then I realized that I wasn’t truly alone. God was right there with me and knew everything that was going on in my life right then.  My human emotions still overtook me because, regrettably my faith is often weak.

God did help me when friends, who are like family, got me to the hospital.  God helped me when doctors and nurses almost immediately began to minister to my needs, and learning as fast as they could what was wrong with me and how they could cure it.  God helped me when caring, learned physicians quickly realized that surgery was necessary and most imperative.  God helped me by allowing me to be put in the hands of the most skillful and able doctors to perform surgery at the exact moment when my life could be dramatically and irrevocably changed.  If not for the insight and precise abilities of the surgeon I would be a victim of paralysis.  I did not know how truly desperate my circumstances were, but God did.  God heard my cry and He did help me.  There are still struggles ahead for me, and I do not know how I will bear up under them.  I only know that God will be there with me in pain and in pleasure.

God will be with me in spirit and in faithful friends to encourage me, pray for me, and help me along the way, wherever it may lead.  That way, that path, that road, if it leads to eternity with God, no matter how hard or difficult the journey may become, will be worth it if we keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith.  I do not present myself as a source of great biblical wisdom, or a practitioner of prodigious faith.  I am, at the heart of it, a wretched sinner saved by grace who is only worthy of God’s great mercy through the willing sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ.  Why God has such great love for us, only He knows.  It is beyond human comprehension.  God is with us in our joy and in our pain, when we rejoice and when we suffer.  It is hard when life goes against us and we cannot see God’s greater purpose in allowing some hardship to come upon us.  But God has not forsaken us, and his greater purpose will always be revealed to His eternal glory.

May I, or none of us who claim the name of Christ, (not) lose sight of or forget that all things work together for the good of those who are in Christ Jesus.  May God be forever praised, amen.”

Have you cried out to God in desperation? If so, how did He strengthen you?


4 thoughts on “Nothing takes God by surprise – Tom’s Post # 1

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  1. Tim,

    I really appreciate your posting Tom’s last words. What a true spiritual testimony. It does great encouragement to others who lose loved ones to read words such as these. We can truely know that with Tom’s last breath he was in the presence of God–never to suffer any more discomforts or pain. It also does his friends good to be able to share his thoughts with others. When we lost our granddaughter Malori, nothing eased the pain more than to be able to tell folks about her love for Jesus and His Word–even though she was only a little over 7yrs. old. Please keep sharing Tom. People need to read what he said. God Bless.

    Your Servant,

    Alton Crapps


    1. Alton,

      I’m glad this was an encouragement to you. Thank you for sharing about your precious granddaughter and her love for Jesus. We are to weep with those who weep, but we do not weep and grieve without hope. Our hope is Christ.



  2. Thanks for the post, Tim. If I have learned anything in my almost 68 years, it’s that life is hard and is never going to be the satisfaction we once thought it could be. It was never meant to be, but it takes a lifetime to understand that. I believe the purpose is for us to give up looking in any direction for help and completeness and joy but to Him. I can truthfully say, I now know that there is no contentment and lasting satisfaction apart from God and God alone. I sometimes grieve when I think of young couples who have this lesson yet to learn through trials and tribulations. Thank God for the promise of eternal life where there WILL be total joy, peace, and contention for evermore in the presence of the Lord!


    1. Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for sharing. Yes, we count all as lost for the sake of Christ. Our joy comes from Him and not our circumstances. He is all and we must focus on Him, but that’s easier said than put into practice in our materialistic and self-esteem driven culture. So, we learn and grow through our difficulties and sufferings and triumphs as He works out all things for our good and His glory. May we press on, disciple and mentor others (even through suffering, sickness, job loss, or loss of loved ones), and finish the race well in the joy that only comes from Him.


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