Eli’s birthday was in April. Hard to believe that it had been five years since our little boy went to be with Jesus. It’s surreal to think about, because now I’m viewing an abstract painting from a bit of a distance-it’s still confusing and it doesn’t make sense, but I can see some sense in it. I can see how God has used His comfort to us in order to comfort others. For that I am grateful. I hope that we’ve been able to comfort others. Even from afar. We’ve developed closer relationships with some friends because we have shared grief, and those friendships are more dear to me then I can even express.
I’m struggling at the moment though, because two things happened this week. Two more babies went to heaven. They met Jesus and they are safe in His arms. My heart aches for these mammas and daddies that aren’t going to be able to get to know their sweet sweet babies.
I also saw a video this week of a baby who was born and did not have a heartbeat for 20 minutes. There were many medical interventions and this baby is alive and fine. Jesus saved this child. She’s okay. For that I am grateful and Jesus does get glory for saving her little life. My struggle is though, that in this video, the parents said that they prayed and God heard their prayer. He did. I do not deny that. God hears our prayers. He answers them. We can be persistent and Jesus will answer our prayers for our benefit. Whatever is best for us.
I struggle with two things right now: 1) Was I not persistent enough in praying for Eli? Did God not hear me? or us? We had people ALL over the country praying. 2) Does God not get glory because something bad happened? A child died. And another of my children has Down Syndrome. How does He get glory there?
These are questions that I think we all ask ourselves when we’re walking through the mire. I also think that they are very human to ask. I don’t think that it’s wrong to struggle with the hard questions. However, I also don’t think that we will have a full answer this side of heaven. We may not have an answer in heaven.
God gets glory out of good and He gets glory out of bad. He gets glory when people see how His people are responding to the bad. He gets glory when people see how we respond to Him in the bad. He gets glory when someone comes to know Jesus when they see that His people “stick it out” in the bad. He gets the glory even when His people are in such desperate need that they know nothing else to do except to cling to Him and that cling is hanging on by the thread of His garmet a million miles away, but they have such hope that there is a light and that light may only be the confidence of eternal life and seeing Jesus and their deceased child or seeing their disabled child run with abandon and speak so clearly at the throne of our Lord one day.
Mammas who’ve lost their babies and the Mammas who know that their babies are not going to be what they expected, your LORD hears YOU! He has heard your prayers for health and life for your children, but He has chosen to display His glory through the darkest, hardest, cruelest, insanely difficult path for you. He has seen that you are worthy. That you are worthy to walk that road of despair and He has chosen to refine you in the hardest way possible.
It is so hard. I am not sugarcoating at all the hardness of it. Living with a heavy heart and knowing grief is not a path chosen by us, but it was chosen for us. Mammas, we have a choice. It’s a hard choice, but we have a choice. We can say, “God forget you! You do not look out for me! You are not good to me! You have abandoned me! I’m through!” or we can say, “God I want to know that you are looking out for me! HELP! I know you are good, but I don’t understand it now. HELP! I know you haven’t abandoned me, but I’m helpless and this is so hard. HELP!” Jesus DOES NOT abandon us in our grief and He hears us. He will respond when we cry out to Him. Sometimes in the quiet it is hard to wait, but He will respond.
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
2I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3 He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me.
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
4My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
6They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves.
7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8 Awake, my glory![b]
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!