When you do and don’t SEE evidence of His glory

The past few months have been filled with much anticipation and honestly, anxiety waiting on sweet Evelyn’s birth. We have prayed and hoped that God would continue to protect her and we were beyond blessed when she entered safely into this world last Monday. But the  night before, when my daughter was in labor, I am going to be honest…I spent most of the night on my knees, crying out. Though God had already protected this baby when my daughter appendix ruptured in September. Though God had already protected this baby during all the treatments, infections, scans, radiation exposures, etc. Though God had already brought both my daughter and this baby through so much…I was full of fear and I continually spoke that to God that night.

He didn’t hush me. He didn’t discipline me. He didn’t condemn me.

He surrounded me with His perfect peace. He brought calm to my wavering heart.

And a few hours later…He allowed us to see evidence of His glory as beautiful Evelyn Jane Elizabeth Montague breathed her first breath.

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Such joy. Elation. Relief!

Such gratitude we all felt inside our hearts. We had said that no matter the outcome, we would rejoice and be grateful. I said that…but I was hoping and praying that God would give us a healthy girl. She is a miracle. There is no explanation for her being alive but that GOD PROTECTED her.

But what about when it doesn’t turn out like we hope? What about all the mommas out there who have arms that ache a lonely ache that never goes away? What about the babies that are suddenly facing surgery and serious life-threatening health issues…His glory is there in the midst of all of that too. He never leaves us nor forsake us. Though our hearts break, though we may question and doubt and be filled with even anger…He will not leave us. He will not condemn you. He will not question you. He will not walk away from you because you are suffering and filled with great turmoil and questioning.

He will gently surround you.

Evelyn come to us just before the holidays. We relish in her beauty – in her reminder to us that there was a baby born a couple thousand years ago who held such wonder and awe.

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Christ, fully God, fully man was delivered into a world where there was much chaos, fear, anxiety, contention with God and bondage. He was born into a time where violence was prevalent…it was not a time of peace. He wasn’t delivered into royalty or ease – though He had created the universe, though He had hung the very stars that scattered over the town of Bethlehem the night He was born.

Wonder. Awe. Reverence. A gasping at His holiness and His beauty.

A mere baby. Helpless.

That’s how I felt the night before Kristen delivered Evelyn. That’s how I felt as I watched her life ebb away in September. That’s how I felt when I knew it would take a miracle to save her and to save her baby.

And so God, Himself, became the form in the most vulnerable way we know as a human…He became totally dependent upon someone else. Though He could draw up dust from the ground and breath life into it…He was obedient…to death…so that we might have life, hope.

God is with you in your today. No matter how filled with sadness, loneliness, anxiety you are – He’s there – surrounding you with His perfect peace. You may dread the coming weeks. You may have empty arms that still ache from the loss of a child. You may ache in your heart from the loss of someone you loved. You may only feel sorrow and despair.

The Man of Sorrows as Jesus was called, He understands you right now. He has felt the same emotions. Though He is God…He came to live as a man – knowing all of our struggles. No. Feeling and experiencing all our struggles! 

You aren’t forgotten this Christmas. You haven’t been placed on a shelf. God hasn’t rejected you with unanswered prayers. He isn’t punishing you because things didn’t turn out like you had hoped. It may be hard to see. You might not find answers. You might not ever have answers in this life. But you can trust that God is still there. You can trust that He is with you. You do not want to hear that God did what was best for you…that is not what a grieving mother wants and needs to hear…You do need to hear that God is for you, comforting you with His Spirit, grieving with you, tenderly speaking peace to your soul. You do not need to hear that your pain shouldn’t be, that it’s time to move on and forward…you do need to know that God validates your sorrows. He isn’t asking you to ignore them. He isn’t asking you to pretend there aren’t there. He simply asking you to trust Him with all of those wounds, deep, vicious, gaping wounds.

There is great wonder in the fact that God stepped down into our dark world and became an infant. There is great wonder in His love for us that He would sacrifice His son. I hold sweet Evelyn. I am mesmerized by her. I cannot imagine her being sacrificed for all of mankind’s sin some day. I cannot even imagine her being the atonement for one person’s sins. But God’s love for YOU is that deep and that perfect. HE GAVE HIS SON!

Get that today…no matter your joy or lack of…get that HE SACRIFICED HIS BELOVED SON for your sake! Christ left the Father’s side. He left glory, He left heaven. He left it behind to step into violence, chaos, vulnerability, famine, death, sickness, loneliness, hunger, exhaustion…

so surely, He is with you in your today, during this holiday season, in your every hour – as you weep, rejoice and cry out.

There is great wonder in this coming of the Messiah. There is great wonder as we take in the beauty of our sweet Evelyn. As much as I adore and love this baby, how much greater is God’s, unending, perfect, adoring love for you. God sees you in your grief. God sees you in your suffering. He is with you – so deeply surrounding you. You cannot escape His presence though it may be the darkest time of your life, He is in the midst of this with you. He stepped down into this darkness. He stepped down into your darkness.

You are His beloved child.  Just as Ezra and Isaiah look at the face of their baby sister with wonder…so too, your Father in heaven looks at you. No matter where you have been. No matter what you have done. HE HAS LOVE FOR YOU. You do not have to earn it because you cannot. He has given you life and life abundantly through His SON.

A helpless babe. God with us. God among us. God for us. God saving us.

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photo credits: 604 studios, Greenwood, IN

 

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