Waited for. Yearned for. Dreamt about. Now, the day we had long prayed for was finally here.
It wasn’t a smooth path my son and daughter-in-law had traveled. (http://www.aneverydayvoice.com/2013/06/hope-deferred.html ). Kyle and Heidi had been convinced that God promised them a baby. Their confidence did not waver, putting mine to shame. They considered some drastic fertility treatments, but for seven years chose to trust God instead. When Heidi conceived, tears and laughter battled for expression in all of us.
Then she delivered little 2 lb. 7 oz. Elsie Joe 13 ½ weeks early (http://www.aneverydayvoice.com/2013/08/be-strong-be-brave.html ). While I held my breath and prayed, Kyle and Heidi’s trust that she is God’s gift to them remained unshaken.
She spent 10 weeks in the NICU. She learned to breathe on her own, then as she gained enough weight she was able to maintain her body temperature. The last hurdle was for Elsie to take all her feedings by bottle, and still continue gaining weight. Each milestone was a cause for celebration as she inched towards the day she would be released.
Perfectly healthy, 6 lb. 2 oz. Elsie came home from the hospital last Saturday .
No monitors, no alarms. There isn’t any need for them. God is continuing to finish the good work He had begun in her, and her story is one of His faithfulness. In answered prayers. In His constant presence. In the reassuring whisper of His Spirit. It has changed all of us as we watched God reveal His steadfast mercy and compassion.
We Skyped with them the day after Kyle and Heidi brought her home. Several things really struck me.
First; my granddaughter is absolutely adorable! Though still small, she has these cheeks that cry out to be kissed. I really need to go do that!
Second; the delight that Kyle and Heidi feel is so strong it is palpable even by Skype. Having their daughter snuggle in their arms creates a fierce and complete joy that emanates from them. They love her passionately, simply because she is theirs.
Third; the look of utter contentment on Elsie’s face after finishing her bottle is one of absolute peace. She snuggled even deeper into Heidi’s arms, and slowly let herself drift off into sleep. Such trust…
Lastly, though she just came home Elsie already knows her mommy and daddy’s voices. Her little head will turn whenever they talk to her, and her eyes fix trustingly on them. She loves it when they tell her how much she is loved, and how wonderful they think she is. She may not understand the words yet, but she feels their message.
She’s home, and she knows it. Somehow, she knows that this is where she belongs.
What a great picture the relationship God wants with us!
He also takes great joy in us, His children (Zephaniah 3:17). We may not always understand His words or His ways, but we can always trust in His love for us. He longs for us to turn to Him when we hear His still, small voice, listening for what He has to say to us (Hebrews 12:2a), hearing Him speak words of love and affirmation over us. His love is unfailing, unconditional, and immeasurable (Psalm 143:8). We never need to doubt it.
He wants us to come to Him and be satisfied us with the pure milk of His word (1 Peter 2:2-3), so that we might continue to grow healthy and strong. He is that safe place that we can snuggle into and find rest.
Our Father is our true home, and that is where we belong!
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23
1. Do you feel like a loved child of God?
2. Why, or why not?
3. Look up the verses in the above passage, and meditate on them. Spend a few minutes thanking God for being your Father, and where your soul is at home.
Father, thank You for Elsie, and the picture that she is of Your grace and mercy and compassion. Thank You for bringing her home. You are a far more perfect Father than any here on earth, and You love us beyond our understanding. You are our home, where we can safely trust and rest in Your presence. Help me to keep looking at and listening to You.