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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Reflections

I recently found out some very sad news concerning a couple that I knew at A&M. We weren't close friends, more like acquaintances, but I've kept up with them through their blog. They were expecting their third baby girl this month. At a 9 month US it was determined that the baby would probably be born with a genetic disorder. This was the first they'd suspected that something might be wrong as an earlier US showed things to be perfectly normal. She ended up having the baby who lived one week in the NICU.

This has shocked me so much. Partially because I am expecting a baby. "Expecting" is a fitting word because there are so many expectations and hopes surrounding having a child and to see them all crumble has to be so heart-rending. But even if I wasn't pregnant, it's shocking to hear this happen to someone since we are so blessed to live in a time and a place where babies dying is not common.

Hearing their story reminded me of something I thought about a lot early in the pregnancy. For several weeks I read psalm 139 every day. For those of you who know it, it is probably first familiar for its references to God "knitting" each of us together in the womb and knowing us intimately before we were even born. You can see why that would appeal to a pregnant woman to read. But those aren't the verses that comforted me. The reason I kept reading that psalm every day was because of these verses:

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,' even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you." Ps. 139:11-12

I thought about why darkness is bright as the day for God. I think part of the reason has to be that he knows all. He's not surprised or thrown off by anything that occurs in our lives whether happy or tragic. I, on the other hand, don't even know for sure what will happen in 30 minutes.

When I got pregnant I felt like whole new worlds of hopes and fears opened before me. And I'm sure I don't even know the half of that feeling. First there was the knowledge that the pregnancy might not even last until term. Then there is the knowledge that even if the baby is born healthy there are endless things that can happen to a person in his/her life for better or worse. And of course I want and hope for the best for the baby but I have little control over any of this. I don't want to give the impression that I'm constantly worrying. That's not it at all. But it is staggering to know that there is a person almost completely dependent upon me (at least for a time) but yet I can only give him/her so much. I can't control everything and there's so much I don't know.

But I do know that when my little world descends into darkness God is my light because he does know and control everything. Even if things are painful for a time and there are things I'll never understand, I know the outcome will be as bright as day. God has already "showed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8) So, I know that I need not ever fear what the future will bring because I am in good hands. They very hands that "knitted me together in my mother's womb" (ps. 139:13).

If you want to read more about the couple I've mentioned their blog is here.

Psalm 139

139:1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. [1]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain! [2]
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts! [3]
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! [4]

1 comment:

Robin and Don said...

Leslie, that is one of the saddest stories I have heard in a long time. I had to go to the blog and had to skim quickly thru it before I teared up. That poor family. I will keep them in my prayers tonight.