The miracle of where you are
Yesterday we celebrated Harriet's birthday. No, it was more than that. We actually stood in awe of the miracle of her life, and the blessings He permitted us to share as a result. You see, Harriet was a preemie. She weighed 2.5 pounds when she was brought into this world at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. With my limited research skills I haven't been able to access birth data from that period of time, 1946, the earliest of the Baby Boom period. But, I do know neonatal care was essentially non-existent then. Her survival, even to the medical professionals who nursed and cared for her, was a miracle. In my mind, she was preserved to be my wife and the mother of our children, the wife of a pastor, the awesome mom of incredible kids. Yesterday wasn't, then, cake and ice cream. It was awe!
OK, so I operate from a biblical worldview. King David's declaration in Psalm 139 provides a biblical foundation for such a belief system. He wrote, "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" (Psalm 139:16, ESV). David seems to be saying that God had orchestrated his life even before he was born. It is the thrilling discovery that God does have a purpose for us and that He works His purpose throughout our lives (see also Philippians 2:13). Now, to glance back at the miracle of Harriet's birth, our meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, twenty-six years later, our eventual call to ministry eight years after that, and the thrilling hand that has consistently guided us in almost forty-two years of marriage reveals an astounding truth that takes my breath away: He does have a purpose for His people. Our plans amount to little, but His purpose prevails. Every step along the way is the miracle of where we are.
There's really an invisible hand. Now, when I use that term I'm not talking Adam Smith's economics, or the unidentified force that guides free-market capitalism. No, I'm talking the God of creation, the One who calls and equips us for His purpose. More specifically I'm talking the God who works His will in our lives, keeps His wonderful promises to us, and finishes in us what He has begun (see Philippians 1:3 for this truth). From the date of Harriet's birth till now we have seen His faithful hand move us, prepare us, give to us, and lead us in every life circumstance. Another birthday isn't just a celebration of an additional year, another notch in the longevity measure. It is standing in absolute reverence before Him because He has brought us to this place. It is the miracle of where we are.
Yes, some of the places are hard ones. Someone may ask, "If God is so good, why I am in this horrible situation or place?" Well, there are many answers. Mine's predictable, the worldview thing again. We face the hard stuff so we'll depend on Him. If everything was under the control of my personal resources, I wouldn't need Him. I love what Solomon wrote, "I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it so that people fear before Him" (Ecclesiastes 3:14). The hard places are so we'll depend on Him and stand in awe of Him as a result.
My passion, and the purpose of this sight, is to encourage the glance back, to remember the blessings of His calling, and anticipate the fulfillment of His intention in our lives. Yesterday, we were encouraged to rehearse His hand over us for the length of Harriet's life and mine, and to rejoice in His faithfulness throughout. Yesterday, we celebrated her life, More importantly we praised Him for the miracle of where we are. And, where we have been.
Because of what we see in the rear-view mirror, we're ecstatic to anticipate what is ahead.