Yesterday’s blog post ended with little hope. It was a time of desolation for us, similar to what Isaiah prophesied for Israel in chapters nine and ten. The best thing about Isaiah chapters nine and ten is that it is followed by chapter 11.
After all of the death and destruction; after all of the pain, fear, and violence… when all is a silent grave…
a sign of life.
Isaiah 11 is a beautiful and clear prophecy of Jesus. In the midst of our spiritual death, He gives us life. In the seemingly complete destruction of the people of God, there is hope and life.
Isaiah uses the term “shoot,” denoting a small sign of life, just as Jesus came to us as a baby.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
October of 2010 was difficult because our twins would have been born that month. Prior to our June 17 visit to the doctor, we had joked that our baby (babies, as we found out later) would be our Halloween child. Our oldest child was born very close to Thanksgiving and our second child was born the day before Valentine’s Day. It seemed as if our children would all have birthdays close to some sort of holiday.
As Halloween approached, I was very restless, and I noticed that my wife was acting strange, too.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
Finally, she told me: she was pregnant. To be perfectly honest, neither one of us was jubilant or extremely happy. The news of the pregnancy, at first, was a reminder of our pain. And, of course, we had the question hanging over our head: Would this child be okay? Would we go through another loss? To be blunt, we were living a life of fear.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
As time went on, we began to realize that you cannot live a life in fear. Fear–especially in my life–is Satan’s biggest weapon, his “star punch” (for those of you that remember the game… and for those who don’t here’s what I’m talking about) if you will. Fear destroys. Fear is the opposite and enemy of faith.
This experience was a valley moment for us. But in that valley, we learned. We learned about faith, about love, about hope, and about God Himself. I grew in my faith. It hurt; but it was beneficial.
And so, after a period of time, we allowed ourselves to feel happy without caution. We began to think about the future–baby names, clothing, etc.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[b] from Elam, from Babylonia,[c] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.
12 He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah
from the four quarters of the earth.
13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish,
and Judah’s enemies[d] will be destroyed;
Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah,
nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.
14 They will swoop down on the slopes of Philistia to the west;
together they will plunder the people to the east.
They will subdue Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
15 The Lord will dry up
the gulf of the Egyptian sea;
with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand
over the Euphrates River.
He will break it up into seven streams
so that anyone can cross over in sandals.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
that is left from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from Egypt.
Gideon Michael Weber was born May 19, 2011. (I’ll blog about him later…)
Job said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
In this instance, “The Lord has taken away, and the Lord has given; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
If you have experienced the death of your child, I can tell you that I have felt your pain, but that does not help your pain. If I could, I would walk up to you, give you a hug, then sit beside you and cry with you.
If you have experienced the loss of a child, I urge you to pray. I urge you to read your Bible. Please speak to your pastor. I do not have any great advice I can give you beyond that.
God bless and keep you… to quote Francis Schaeffer, “He is there, and He is not silent.”
(Scripture quotes from Biblegateway.com)