It is a silly labor and delivery story. I waited until I was sure we had to start the hour drive to the hospital. I almost had my man turn around half way there, and then instead had him detour to Walmart, of all places, so I could walk in circles leaning on a rack as needed. I didn't want to be at the hospital a minute longer than I had to before that baby decided to join us and greet the morning.
My plan worked, albeit a funny tale now. Just 45 minutes after our arrival at the hospital (and after some frantic running around by the staff) was our son's arrival into our lives. I found myself looking down at the fresh, new life of a sweet baby boy. When you hold new life for the first time, you don't plan for how to move ahead. You just
get lost in the moment as you fall head over heels in love, and you know you can figure life out.
Almost exactly four months, I found myself in the same hospital holding that same sweet, bundle of baby. However, instead of finding myself in the room that most often welcomes life, I was in a room that often ushers in death. That little babe who had just been full of smiles was now lifeless in my arms.
Memories are fuzzy for me from that year but I remember that moment with great clarity. I didn't know how to move ahead and I knew this time I couldn't figure life out. I looked down at my sweet son and fully
realized in that moment I had a choice to make. Would I move forward in bitterness and get lost in grief, or would I choose to believe God to be who He says He is and walk with Him through this trial?
My husband didn't know at the time and I am not sure if he still fully knows how God used him in that moment in time to help me choose. He was devastated and yet so confident. "God has prepared us for this," he said.
He had been singing. He latched on more firmly to the God he already knew and trusted and because he did, he led me to do the same.
Life is about choices.
We think we can choose to rush or delay delivery - maybe make a Walmart stop or another trip around the block. We think we can protect and safeguard. In the end, God chooses when life greets us and when our days are done. Those are not the choices we get to make and all the worry in the world doesn't change them.
We choose what to do with what God hands us each day and every moment in it. We choose to believe God to be who He says He is in His Word or to walk away in disbelief.
Oh I know sometimes you can't see God at work. I know sometimes what He is doing doesn't make any sense at all and it may not even feel like He is present. You may not feel Him working or see Him in your pain and brokenness. You and I aren't alone.
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:6-9
Peter was talking to Jewish Christians who never saw Jesus walk the earth. They never saw His miracles first hand or felt what it was like to be in His presence. They were facing some major trials and in the midst of those, they had a choice to make. Would they believe in Jesus though they couldn't see Him?
They chose to believe.
When I was standing in the hospital room holding my lifeless son, it was hard to see God at work. In the grief stricken weeks and months ahead, it was often difficult to see Him in our pain. When you walk past an empty crib day after day, sometimes all you see is the emptiness not the fullness of God. When you have nothing left to look at to see a face you love but pictures and bits of video to hear laughter that once rang through your house, your feelings at times want to deny God's goodness and that He is working. None of us have seen Jesus walk the earth and perform His miracles. We have not been able to sit and experience what it is like to be in His physical presence. So, like the Jewish Christians in Peter's day, we have a choice to make. You and I have a choice to make as life brings various trials to our paths. Love and believe God to be the faithful, working for our good and His glory kind of God He says He is, or not?
God in His great grace through His Spirit, used the faithful example of my husband to guide my decision that day in the hospital. I will forever be humbly grateful. From that day on it was a daily, sometimes moment by moment decision not to trust my feelings as absolute truth about God, not to trust what I could see, but to turn to the Word of God as absolute truth reminding me how and why I can believe God. His Word daily reminded me of God's greatness, faithfulness, sovereignty, compassion, and love.
In the years since the loss of our son, God has used those lessons learned time and time again in my life. I did not always get it right then and I do not always get it right now. Through God's grace, daily I grow in my ability to respond like those Jewish believers long ago. I learn to look past what I feel and what I can see with my own eyes and I make a choice to believe God - whatever my circumstances. The choice leads to a most wonderful outcome which I have personally, repeatedly experienced. It leads me and it will lead you to do as it says in 1 Peter 1:9 "rejoice with joy that is inexpressible."
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so
that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”