Over the past months I have often drifted back in thought to the day Elijah was born and the events that surrounded his birth.
(Daniel wrote a blog post talking about those events Here.)
I have played the “what if?” game. What if we had both died? What would that have meant for the family left behind?
The week leading up to his birth J-Term was going on. J-Term is a week where they bring in special speakers to the seminary and many of the Lutheran Brethren pastors, as well as some lay people and of course the students from the school attend, and receive further training. I was able to attend this past one because my mother and father-in-law were staying with us and my mother-in-law was able to watch the kids.
It was really nice to go and sit and just listen and soak up the training and speakers. Mostly it was wonderful to not have a child hanging on me begging for more gummies while I try and listen to the sermon. Ha!
At J-Term I had so many people come up to me and tell me that they would be praying for me and my baby and the delivery. In fact, so many people came up to me to tell me they were praying, I said “Daniel I’m starting to get worried that something is wrong or going to go wrong! Everyone is praying for me!” Then I proceeded to laugh my worry off and go about my day.
But God was at work long before Elijah’s delivery day.
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant I had a dream. And in my dream, I knew that something bad was going to happen to Silas so I was doing everything in my power to protect him. He still fell and got a nasty cut on his head. But I was relieved, I thought to myself. Ok that was it! I saved it from being worse. But then I realized that event was an illusion and what was actually happening was Silas was in the bathtub by himself and it was filling up with water. And I watched as if from a distance helpless to do anything about it. Then I saw Daniel go in pick him up out of the bath and “save him”. When I thought on the dream the next day I knew God was just telling me to entrust my children to Him. He knows all, He loves them more than I possibly can and He is in control, not me.
Flash forward to Elijah’s birth. As I was bleeding and they were prepping me for surgery I knew something was very wrong. Before I knew it, I was on oxygen and they were running, literally running at points to the operating room. Panic was overtaking me. But there was nothing within my power that I could do about my situation. As I felt the blood leaving my body and the panic overtaking, it wasn’t an audible voice but it felt audible in my head. “Do not fear, I am with you.” And then there was an overwhelming peace that descended on me. Whether I lived or died I had nothing to fear. God has me. I am His child.
God reached down His hand of intervention and saved Elijah and I that day. There was nothing I could do to save me, or him.
Pondering these events this afternoon brought me to think about our state as human beings. We think we have it under control. We have the illusion that we can save ourselves. There are so many religions that say you can earn your spot in heaven. Or that the path to peace is through ourselves or that we simply just need to be good. As long as we are a decent human being we are in the clear. We think that our view of the world dictates how the world actually is. We think we got it. I have it under control.
But the fact is, we don’t have it under control and our view of who we are doesn’t change reality. The illusion is just that: an illusion, a mirage in the distance that never comes.
The reality is, I am a helpless human being that has no ability to save myself. I am bleeding out in my sin, and there is nothing I can do about it. I can try to staunch the blood, but that is not fixing my inner problem. I’m still dying.
But God in His ever-loving mercy reached down His hand of grace and divinely saved me. Jesus came and did what I could not do. He did only what He can do. He lived a perfect life, and then He died on that cross, He shed his blood on my behalf, He covered me in is grace so that God the Father no longer sees my black heart, but sees His Son. He healed my inner problem. It is finished.
Now I still deal with sin. I won’t be perfected until God actually does call me home.
But I am right before the Father. There is no longer sin that separates us. Because of my faith in Jesus I am now a child of God.
I can’t explain the inner spiritual workings of how God makes this all possible. Just like I can’t explain the inner workings God did to physically save me and my son. Elijah was the most physically healthy baby that I have ever delivered. The doctor pronounced him a 10 and said, “I can’t find anything wrong with this baby.”
God has made me whole and complete in Jesus.
But Jesus didn’t just die for me, He died for all of humanity. And He longs for all to come to Him.
God brought glory to Himself that day. God showed His mercy and love to us. Just like He showed the world when He sent His son.
I will just share one last thing.
A few days before Elijah was born we finally settled on his name.
Elijah – Meaning: My God is YAHWEH
God brings Glory to Himself throughout all of it.
Praise be to God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.