Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Bear with me.  This could be a long one.  So much is spilling out of my heart and it will be good medicine for me to record it here.

There seems to be so much loss these days.  The brother of a childhood friend drowned tragically last week.  I've watched too many friends lose babies in pregnancy the last few years.   With young children, that hits so close to home.

Yesterday around noon I received word that dear friends needed prayer as their full-term baby's heartbeat couldn't be found.  I prayed.  Oh how I prayed.  Certainly my prayers were for life.  But I knew regardless, they would need prayer.  I waited.  And the longer I waited, the grimmer it seemed.

And I realized, the word prayer sometimes is so generic.  We throw it around casually and quickly.  "I'll pray for you."  "I will keep that in prayer."  And we do pray, we say a few words, and we move on.  But prayer is so much more than that.  It is beseeching, interceding, crying out, calling heaven down.  Isn't that what we want?  For the God of heaven to come down and intervene.  To do the impossible.  Like Elijah calling down fire from heaven to consume the drenched altar. 

That.  That is prayer.  And I know those were the types of prayers being lifted up yesterday and through the night.

And then this morning they shared, their precious baby girl had been born to them but delivered into Jesus' arms.  I got chills just now typing that.  My heart just aches for them.  A long-awaited sister for their 3-yr old son.  A baby who's gender they had waited to find out.  A little girl they won't see grow up. 

The outpouring of love has begun.  I appreciate how Facebook facilitates the surrounding of friends in prayer.  Friends who otherwise wouldn't learn so quickly of loss and the need of prayer.  At times I know people desire privacy as they deal with difficult things and I always want to respect that.  But I consider it a privilege to pray for loved ones in their deepest time of need.

It's not fair.  It's not right.  It hurts.  It makes my heart ache.  In so many ways.  These are dear, close friends of the heart.  The kind of friend you may not see or even communicate with on a regular basis, but still you know them because you know their heart and you have so many shared experiences.

It's times like these we come together.  When life hurts, we are there for one another.  I pray.  Oh how I still am praying.  For the presence of God to be so palpable each day. 

For I know, it's for His glory.  It's all about Him.  It always seems like these tragedies occur to those who deserve so much more.  The thought struck me today, that God chooses to use his most humble and obedient instruments for his glory.  Those who will rely on him and cling to him.  Those who will glide on grace and receive his mercies.  I think of John 9 when the disciples wanted to know why the man was born blind and Jesus says "it happened so the work of God might be displayed."

I don't know what work God desires to display through this tragedy.  But I know that he will.  And I know that my friends will be incredible vessels for it to come through.  Does that mean it will hurt any less?  Absolutely not. 

But if we don't have faith, if we don't have Jesus, then what do we have?  We have no lens through which to see such tragedy.  We have no promise of redemption.  Because he always redeems.  Nothing returns void.  Everything is for a purpose

Another dear friend said of the loss of her unborn son, "We can't pretend to see His hand, but we are desperately clinging to Him because we know He is the only way through this kind of hurt and pain."

Yesterday after I received the initial information, the next two songs that played on my Pandora station were "Arms of Love" and "Draw Me Close."  Songs I sang with the same friends on a worship team in the late 90's.  In fact, they sang "Arms of Love" at our wedding.  Newer songs usually play on my Pandora.  I felt like it was God's whisper.  And it became my prayer for them.  That they would feel drawn close to Jesus, wrapped in his arms of love, holding them near.

I think of the quote from Narnia about Aslan, "He isn't safe, but he is good."

Where would we be without Jesus in times like these?  I don't want to find out.

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