Thursday, October 27, 2005

Treasures in Heaven

Matthew 6:19 ¶ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

There's a little more of my heart in heaven now. At the beginning of the month, our precious grandson Jack was born too soon. Just yesterday, another precious grandbaby went straight from my daughter's womb, into the arms of Jesus.

I remember how excited we were to find out little by little that there were to be FOUR new babies joining the family in the spring. First, my nephew and his fiancee were having a baby in the first week of March, followed by three grandchildren coming in quick succession through March and April. In 1999, we rejoiced to have four little boys join the family over a 9 month period, but this was to be in SIX WEEKS!! We were so very thrilled, looking forward to seeing all of these treasures as they grew and learned and explored this wonderful world!

Sadly, it was not to be. First, Heather began cramping and labouring far too soon. Baby Jack was born at home. He was beautiful - perfectly formed, yet tiny enough to fit into the palm of a hand. Collar bones, fingers, toes, button nose, rosebud mouth. Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that my soul knows right well. Our hearts were lifted to heaven, and we bowed to the will of our Father, Who knows best.

I changed my signature line to reflect that we were expecting our 10th and 11th longer would we await the 12th.

Then, Adeena, my eldest daughter, began spotting. She knew something was wrong; in fact, had known for some time. Never underestimate the intuition of a woman who is pregnant. An ultrasound indicated the baby was not viable. The yet unnamed but much loved baby was born last night at 20 weeks' gestation. Baby had a large mass which pushed the legs to an odd angle. There were other problems. This child was not meant to survive.

We were able to hold the baby and marvel at the beauty of little legs, hands, feet, and one ear that was normal. God was so gracious to give us a caring nurse who patiently helped us examine every aspect of this dear wee thing who did not live on this earth, yet we know is in the Lord's hands.

We felt the prayers of God's people. Unbelievable peace in the midst of tragedy. God is so very good.

Things this grandmother has learned in the month of October:

1. Every baby, every child is a gift from God, the giver of life. Never take them for granted.

2. Never assume that "it" can't happen to you. It can, and it may. But God gives grace.

3. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in our mother's womb. Whether it is a 13 week fetus (Latin for baby!) or a full term fetus, each baby is an intricately assembled miracle. Marvel! Bow the knee! And repent of your inaction in not speaking out against abortion.

4. Sin has its consequences. The wages of sin is death. These little babies did not lose their lives because they sinned - but sin, when it entered the world, marred the beauty and harmony of every single system and aspect. Babies born too soon, or with birth defects, remind us of the fall. We do not live in a perfect world.

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

The glory which shall be revealed in us, because of the marvelous grace of God, will be incomparably wonderful. God will wipe away all of our tears. He will make everything right.

5. God's love never fails.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

6. It is good to live in community. God blesses us through the prayers and kindnesses of others. We had a perfect peace that passes all understanding. We could tangibly feel the prayers of God's people and the Comfort that only comes from the Holy Spirit. I have read email after email with tears running down my cheeks, because people care, because they have experienced loss or tragedy or pain, and they understand.

2 Corinthians 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

5. Life goes on. People who lose a loved one often wonder how everything can be so normal. Why are people shopping? Buying a coffee at Timmy's? Going to work? Why doesn't the world stop when my world has been shattered, they think. But God has ordained our steps and ordered our days. He makes the sun to come up in the morning and the moon to rise at night. He is the only Giver of Life, and He can be trusted.

My life's verse is comforting: Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

God is always in control, and He is always good. Some may trust in horses, some may trust in chariots, but we will trust in the name of our God.

In Christ,
Janet, who is thankful to be married to dear husband Rick for 32 years today.


Tamara said...

I'm so sorry for your daughters' loses...and for the entire family too. I'm thankful for the strong faith you show and know you will be a great comfort to them in their sorrow.


Tamara (in AK)

Tracy said...

Janet, What a beautiful testimony to your faith, and a loving tribute to the grandchildren that await you in heaven. May God continue to strengthen you and your family, and give you peace and joy.

Tracy in N. Idaho

Anonymous said...

Just stopping in and saddened to hear of your loss. Thank you for sharing it AND you HOPE! Our God is indeed God in all the universe and wills all things for the good of his people! I am praying for you and your family as you rest in Him.
Margaret in VA

Anonymous said...

I'm SO sorry!!! I haven't been getting the PW's so I had no idea that you'd lost another grandchild. I love what you have written about it. You are a blessing to me!

Lyn from