Lessons from Samuel – Part 2

This is the second in a 3-part series of lessons I learned in the Bible study Desiring God’s Own Heart by Kay Arthur. Inductive Bible study is a great method for reading, understanding, and interpreting biblical text using only the scriptures.

Twenty-four lessons from the 24 chapters of 2 Samuel:

1. The righteous do not delight in the demise of their enemies.

2. God brings victory in His time.

3. Do not attempt to control my own destiny.

4. Mourn the death of the wicked. It is the final separation from God for every unbeliever.

5. God blesses obedience.

6. Know what God requires and do it.

7. God’s promises are for me, as well as future generations.

8. God brings the victory over all my enemies.

9. Go out of my way to keep my word and bless others.

10. False assumptions have terrible consequences.

11. Sin begins in the heart.

12. Sin has terrible, far-reaching consequences./God forgives the repentant sinner, but the consequences may endure.

13. Sin is generational, and is often magnified in the next generation.

14. God desires to restore the banished one.

15. Partial restoration leaves room for sin to grow.

16.Accept the Lord’s discipline.

17. God preserves His godly ones.

18. The wicked will perish because of their sin.

19. God ALWAYS keeps his promises.

20. Choose whom you follow wisely, and heed godly counsel.

21. The consequences of sin linger long after its passions disappear.

22. The Lord is my Rock.

23. God’s covenant is forever.

24. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God that which cost me nothing.

Which lessons resonate with you?

If you are interested in learning more about this method of Bible study, visit Kay Arthur’s ministry website: http://precept.org/

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The Winter of Our Discontent – Part 3

Six days after that wild ambulance ride, Caleb walked out of the hospital on his own two shaky feet, giant Tigger balloon in hand. The doctor’s marching orders were scary: anti-seizure medicine to be carried at all times, Tylenol at the first sign of fever, and a bed in our room until he turns six, because this could happen again at any time, and we could find him dead in the morning. “There is a 30% risk of recurrence,” he stoically reported, emphasizing the danger and potentially disastrous results.

The reality was too much. The room started spinning, and I needed to sit down. Someone went to get me some juice. With my blood sugar balanced, I thought through what the doctor was saying as he prattled on with his doom and gloom. I guess he wanted to make sure we were prepared.

“Wait a minute,” I interrupted. I was being rude, but I didn’t care. “Did you say there’s a 30% chance this could happen again?”

“Yes, that’s right,” he replied, looking at me like I was going mad. It was probably true.

“So that means there’s a 70% chance this will never happen again?”

He paused for a moment, looking something between annoyed and perplexed. “Yes, I suppose so,” he answered.

“Then we’re going to live in the 70%,” I declared, not caring that he didn’t really seem to be listening. He finished his instructions, asked if we had anymore questions, and left.

I looked at my husband, and our panicked eyes met. I wasn’t ready for this, and neither was he. We took a deep breathe and steadied ourselves against the unknown.

Determining to live in the 70% is one thing, but doing it is another. Caleb spent the first two nights at home in our room, in a toddler bed friends loaned us. On the third night, he climbed into his own bed in the room he shared with his sister. Grandma had vacated it to hop a plane back home. What could I do? I wasn’t going to force him to sleep in our room when he wanted to be with his sister. Mommies live for that stuff.

So we tucked him in, closed the door, and fervently prayed that God would protect him.

And we prayed that we would fall asleep. And you know what? We did.

It wasn’t easy. The process of letting go began in a hospital room next to our dying son’s bed. I let him go, and God gave him back. When I loosened my grip, I realized I was never really the one holding him anyway. God was holding him, and it was enough.

We learned that you can do everything right for your kids: hold them, feed them, train them, love them, and they can still almost die in your arms. We are not in control, and we refuse to live in constant fear of “what if?” We don’t need to wonder “what if?” We’ve already been there.

It took six months to get the boys healthy; six months of nebulizing, nursing, antibiotics, steroids, more nebulizing, and more nursing. I was in survival mode, and Katie watched a horrifying amount of TV, even if it was PBS. I was barely keeping my head above water, drowning in a sea of medicine, doctor appointments, dishes, laundry, and beautiful kids. I had so much to be thankful for as spring turned to summer and we celebrated Caleb’s third birthday, but I could barely function.

Depression enveloped me like a thick, dark cloud. But that is another story.

 

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The Winter of Our Discontent – Part 2

John sat in the front seat with the ambulance driver, road atlas in hand, trying to find the quickest route to the children’s hospital. We stopped on the side of the road to meet the paramedics, who gave Caleb anti-seizure medication. He finally stopped convulsing, but he never woke up.

Arriving at the ER, Caleb was immediately wheeled into a room where a doctor and a few nurses began working on him. I relayed what happened for the first of what seemed like one hundred times that night. What symptoms did he have? When did they begin? What did he eat? What medicines did he take? The questions felt like an assessment of my motherhood. Had I done the right things? If I had done something differently, would we still be here, or would we be home, snuggling on the couch?

Suddenly, out of nowhere, doctors, nurses, and technicians rushed in from everywhere, shouting instructions at each other. We were whisked out of the exam room, and the curtains were drawn. “What’s happening?” I asked, searching my husband’s desperate face for answers he could not give. “What’s happening?” I repeated to no one in particular, waiting endlessly for an answer that terrified me.

Anxiety squeezed my heart and my legs got weak. A single chair sat opposite Caleb’s exam room. A single chair in a crowded ER. That chair was for me. A small blessing, a reminder that God was watching. I didn’t miss it. I sat down before my legs gave out. John crouched next to me, holding on to me, and holding me up. Thank God for that man.

The paramedics that cared for Caleb on the side of the road would not leave until they knew he was okay. They stood sentinel at the openings in the curtain, like guards protecting our son from invaders, and protecting us from what was happening until it was time to know. The waiting is always the hardest part.

Eventually, a woman came out from behind the curtain and said, “He’s coming back.”

“He’s coming back from where?” I asked. My bewilderment betrayed me. I really had no idea what was going on, and I didn’t want to understand what she was really saying. Caleb had his third grand mal seizure in the ER. Because he had been eating before this all started, his stomach was quite full, and he threw up. Then he aspirated. I didn’t even know what “aspirated” meant. I do now: he almost drowned in his own vomit. Our precious two-year-old boy.

They intubated him and put him on a ventilator. We headed down the hallway, following behind the techs that wheeled Caleb’s bed to the CAT scan the doctor had ordered.

“God is here,” I whispered to my husband.

“I know,” came the soft reply.

“No, you don’t understand. I mean God is here, like right here.” I moved my free hand for emphasis. John was holding my left hand, and God was holding my right. Somehow, the two of them got me down the hallway.

Caleb had lots of tests that night, and none of them revealed too much about what had happened to him. He was in a medically induced coma, and medically paralyzed to keep him safely on the ventilator. Our pastor came, and my dad, who drove John home to care for Katie and Aidan. I sat by Caleb’s bedside all night, praying and crying and singing hymns. I rubbed a small spot on his little hand, the only bit of skin I could touch that was not stuck or taped with something. Even his eyes were taped shut. I cried out to God, begging him to ask me for something else, but not this. Please don’t ask me to give up my son.

As I prayed, angels appeared at the corners of Caleb’s bed, and a soft light glowed over him. Not the flourescent hospital-room light, but a light illumined by the brightness of the angels. I blinked and looked again through my tears, thinking I was seeing things. I wasn’t. They were still there. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine what angels look like. All I came up with was flying naked babies. That is definitely not what I saw. I could not see them when my eyes were closed. I could only see them when my eyes were opened. Angels standing guard at the corners of his bed. God was there. It was enough.

The next morning a nurse told me the doctor had been checking Caleb’s monitor overnight and was concerned to see his heart rate increasing. “I told him not to worry,” she said, “Mommy’s singing to him.” My heart swelled. Another blessing. I didn’t miss it.

Later that day, I spoke with my sister on the phone. She is a nurse, so I gave her all the details. Once I had relayed all the medical stuff, I told her about the angels, despite the distinct possibility that she would think I was losing my mind. She got really quiet, and then choked up, “I was on my knees all night praying that angels would guard his bed.” Then we were both crying. Another blessing.

Sleep deprivation makes even the simplest events difficult to process, and I was going on six weeks with little to no sleep. Doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists came and went all day, floating in and out of Caleb’s room like a dream. I was exhausted and always close to tears, but I didn’t want to leave his side. I was afraid of what I might find when I returned.

I kept praying, but God was silent. “Where are You, God? I know you were here. I felt it. I saw it. Where did You go?”

Still, I prayed. And then I remembered. I remembered Abraham. Abraham, with his son Isaac, the son of the promise, the child of the covenant. Abraham, laying Isaac on the altar, ready to give the son back to God that God had given to him.

And then I did it too. I laid my son on the altar and I gave him back. I gave him back, because I was holding on too tightly. He was never really mine anyway. He belonged to God, and I was standing in the way.

Then I got sick. Sore, achy, chills, cold sweat sick. The thing about hospitals is that they don’t really want sick people there who aren’t the patients. And so I had to go home. My youngest brother and his wife swooped down from several states north to rescue me. I said goodbye to Caleb, not knowing what that goodbye meant, but with an unexplainable peace. John walked me to the car. That walk was the longest of my life. At home, I held my other two babies and cried. And cried. And cried. Holding them was like salve to my soul. Children are good heart medicine. Another blessing.

Two days after we arrived at the hospital, Caleb was taken off the ventilator. John was there, and so were our dear friends from church. Praise God for church. When Caleb woke up, John walked in and said, “Caleb, it’s Daddy.” Caleb looked at John, looked at our friends, and in a soft but determined voice exclaimed, “I want Mommy!” When John told me that later, my heart almost burst. Not only was our son alive and breathing on his own, he also knew who I was, and that I wasn’t there. The doctors had prepared us for the possibility of brain damage from the seizures and loss of oxygen. I felt like God was assuring us that Caleb would be okay.

The conclusion…

 

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The Winter of Our Discontent – Part 1

Every winter, I am reminded of God’s goodness to our family. I praise Him for what is, and for what could have been, but wasn’t.

On January 1st, 2005, we rang in the New Year at the hospital with our 3 1/2 month old baby boy, Aidan. He and his 2 1/2 year old brother Caleb had both been diagnosed with RSV the day before. The doctor sent us home with armloads of medication and a nebulizer. I didn’t even know what a nebulizer was; we never had so much as a chest cold in our house before this.

We nebulized the boys every few hours and finally put them to bed. In the middle of the night, I knew something was not right with the baby. I couldn’t get him to wake up, and my champ of a nurser was flopping around like a newborn. I took him to the pediatrician first thing in the morning. The doctor listened to his lungs and muttered, “Oh, $%@*!”

Um, did the guy who graduated from medical school just swear after examining my baby? I was pretty sure that wasn’t a good sign. He told me to go directly to the ER. A Parenting Magazine article I had recently read flashed through my mind: BABIES DIE FROM RSV EVERY WINTER.

I spent the car ride over to the hospital bargaining with God. I promised that if the baby would just be okay, I would be a better mother. I would never yell at my kids again. As a Christian, I was well aware that God doesn’t really work this way, and I could never keep my end of the bargain anyway, but in my panic, I was desperate.

I spent the next five days watching over Aidan’s treatment. I left the hospital room four times in those five days, and only for a few minutes each time. For the first two days, I asked everyone who came to care for Aidan if he was going to be okay, and for two days, no one answered me. I found comfort in being able to nurse him and rock him throughout the day. The nurses loved stopping by to visit, because he was such a smiley patient.

Meanwhile, John was busy running the older two kids between my parents’ house and some dear friends from church, nebulizing Caleb, who didn’t require hospitalization because he was older and stronger, and making sure the big sister, 4-year old Katie, didn’t get lost in the shuffle. It took the entire month of January to get the boys better. Aidan developed bronchiolitis after he came home, and Caleb went from RSV to bronchitis to pneumonia. At the end of January, we finally got a clean bill of health. Caleb ran around the doctor’s office exclaiming, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” We rejoiced and thanked God, certain that February would be a better month for our family.

Three days later, Caleb developed a low grade fever. I was discouraged, but not too concerned. On Super Bowl Sunday, he was still running low grade, around 100 degrees. He was hungry, so I thought maybe he was starting to get better. Since he wasn’t feeling well, he sat on my lap while he ate some lunch. He was almost done when he said, “Mommy, I don’t feel good.” He shook a few times, his eyes rolled up into the back of his his head, and then he just faded away.

As I dialed 911, Caleb was turning blue. I was frantic. I sat on the living room floor cradling his upper body as he stared off into the distance and began convulsing. I called out to him, but he was so far away. We gave him the nebulizer, because we figured that would get some oxygen into him. A police officer finally arrived and told us that Caleb was having a seizure. I had never seen anything like it. He gave Caleb pure oxygen and waited with us for the ambulance. It felt like an eternity, but at least Caleb was pinking up a bit. Our neighbor, who had tragically lost her teenage son in a car accident that fall, was on our doorstep the minute the ambulance arrived. She asked where the formula was and assured us Katie could help her with everything else. Thank God the hospital gives out sample formula! I am eternally grateful that our neighbor was there, because John and I climbed into the ambulance together.

We headed towards the local hospital, with Caleb still seizing. I was strapped to the gurney and he was strapped to my lap. I will never forget that ambulance ride. It was wild and frightening. Caleb had a total of three grand mal seizures that day and never regained consciousness. I asked the driver where we were going. It was the same local hospital Aidan had been in. I didn’t think they could help Caleb, so I insisted that we go to the area children’s hospital. It is much farther away, and the driver didn’t even know how to get there. Everyone, including John, said, “Are you sure?” With a confidence and calm that could only come from the Holy Spirit, I was sure.

To be continued…

 

 

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Lessons from Samuel – Part 1

I recently completed the Bible study Desiring God’s Own Heart by Kay Arthur. This study is being taught in the women’s Sunday school class at my church, and is part of The New Inductive Study Series. It covers the Old Testament books of 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles. Sadly, I don’t think I had ever really read these books before.

I love inductive Bible study, because it is the best way for me to not only retain what I learn, but also to apply the lessons to my life. Part of the study requires identifying a theme for each chapter. There are 31 themes listed below, corresponding to the 31 chapters in 1 Samuel. I will post lessons from 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles separately.

1. God sees our suffering and hears our prayers.

2. The LORD exalts the humble and judges the proud.

3. The LORD reveals Himself to whom and when He chooses.

4. God is holy.

5. God punishes the wicked.

6. God accomplishes His purpose.

7. God blesses obedience.

8. God desires to be King over his people.

9.God chooses His servants.

10. God gives us the desires of our hearts.

11. Servant leadership reflects God’s character.

12. Consider what great things God has done for me.

13. Obey God completely.

14. God does not bless partial obedience.

15. Obey God fully and take responsibility for my sin.

16. God looks at my heart.

17. The battle is the LORD’s.

18. The LORD will make me prosper – the LORD is with me.

19. God’s plans cannot be thwarted.

20. The LORD blesses godly friendships.

21. God protects His own.

22. Sin leads to further acts of sinful desperation.

23. God is my Rock of Escape.

24. Even the enemies of the righteous will praise them.

25. The LORD is the One who rightly repays the wicked.

26. The LORD rewards restraint.

27. Inquire of the Lord before deciding or acting.

28. Faith does not act out of fear.

29. God protects His own.

30. God punishes the sins of His people – but also shows mercy to bring about repentance.

31. The LORD will bring about His sovereign will, whether I accept it or resist it.

Which theme resonates most with you?

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Holding On and Letting Go

Our daughter turned 13 this summer.

The typical reaction to this most recent milestone is something like, “Oh, the teen years.” I have noticed that people don’t always know what to say when I inform them that I am the proud mother of a teenager. The responses range from low, guttural groans to expressions of deepest condolences. Those with more tact stiffly say something positive like, “Oh, how nice,” but their wide, panicked eyes tell a different story.

I find these reactions rather amusing, because things were very different when our daughter was a baby. The news of my pregnancy thrilled our family and friends. Strangers rubbed my belly and told me frightening stories of their own birthing nightmares, but they were happy for us, and they meant well.

We were “expecting,” and we waited expectantly. When our precious girl was born, everyone “oohed” and “aahed” over her arrival. No one cared that she cried, puked, and pooped with an utter lack of social grace; she was our bundle of joy. We were smothered with enthusiastic best wishes and assured by those who went before us that babies are a gift from heaven and parenthood is the toughest job we would ever love.

What happened to all the well-wishers?

Why has enthusiastic joy been replaced with dread and fear?

Babies are people, and eventually, they grow up. On the way, they have to be teenagers for a while.

We embrace our daughter’s entrance into the teen years with excitement and anticipation. We still wait expectantly, as we watch her grow in her own process of becoming. This little bundle of joy is somehow surviving our many frailties as parents and growing into a gentle, sweet, beautiful young woman. I am humbled that God saw fit to entrust us with this most precious gift.

In order to properly celebrate this rite of passage, my daughter and I went on a “girls only” weekend to a wonderful bed and breakfast down the shore. We watched movies, browsed leisurely in quaint shops, and ate ice cream every day. As the oldest, going out for ice cream three days in a row will probably only happen once in her lifetime. Or least her childhood.

We walked the beach, at times hand in hand, and the beautiful young lady that calls me mom still wondered at the treasures that she found in the sand, just like she did when she was a little girl. We zigzagged along the shore, and used the jetties to mark our distance. We swam, jumping over and diving under waves more than I had in years, because it was just us, and there were no little ones for me to keep from washing out to sea.

The tide rolled in, sudden and strong. At the water’s edge, we dodged waves that reached up to our thighs and then quickly receded back down to our ankles. We held hands, my 13 year old daughter and I, to steady each other against the constantly crashing surf. Sometimes she reached out for me, and held on longer than she needed to, just because she was holding on to Mama. And sometimes I reached out for her, and held on longer than I needed to, just because I was holding on to this most precious gift. In between the surges we let go, staying close, but standing firmly on our own. We lingered in the water, jumping and laughing and reaching out for each other, in the ebb and flow of holding on and letting go.

 

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The Whistling Wind

Lonely is the wind

As it blows across the sea

Whistling a sorrowful song

That sings eternally.

 

I hear the lonesome sound

And shed a single tear

The days of old forever gone

But still I hold them near.

 

Scenes of all our yesterdays

Fill my soul with grief

Still the whistling wind sings on

Bringing no relief.

08/01/01

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Waterless Clouds

Waterless clouds

meaningless words

empty promises

wistfully heard.

Chase the wind

around the earth.

Only dying

brings rebirth.

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A Gentle, Quiet Spirit

I Peter 3:3-4

“And let not your adornment be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

As a young believer, this verse really annoyed me.

I know. I shouldn’t talk about Scripture like that. It sounds disrespectful. Maybe even sacrilegious. I am not usually the kind of Christian who picks and chooses convenient Scriptures, because I know better than that. But this one really got me. Not the whole thing, mind you, just that one irritating part right in the middle of verse 4: “a gentle and quiet spirit.”

My problem was simple: I didn’t have a gentle and quiet spirit, so I figured I must not be precious in God’s sight.

What really troubled me was that if God wanted me to have a gentle, quiet spirit, then why did He give me such a big mouth? This was the ultimate rejection: the boys like the pretty, perfect ones, and God likes the quiet, gentle ones. I was pretty sure I was doomed for life and for eternity. Oh, I knew I was going to heaven, I just figured I was getting there by the skin of my teeth.

My spirit was neither gentle nor quiet; my spirit was restless.

I longed to know things.

I longed to understand.

And most of all, I longed to be understood.

The quiet, perfect people I knew weren’t restless. They did what they were told and didn’t ask a lot of questions. I, on the other hand, was constantly asking questions about anything that seemed worth questioning, which was just about everything.

I wondered why God gave me this innate desire to converse and question and know if He wanted me to be quiet. I mean, I know the Christian life is all about contradictions, (die to live, lead to serve, give to receive) but this was really too much. Since God had made me with a big mouth, He was just going to have to put up with it. Because after all, you can’t change the way you’re made.

Oh, but God can.

Other Scriptures gradually helped to shed more light on what God really expects of me.

God doesn’t want me to be quiet, God wants me to live quiet.

He wants me to have a gentle spirit: gentle towards myself, gentle towards others, gentle towards Him. The quietness of a gentle spirit is able to perceive the value of silence.

Silence used to scare me, because I did not have true peace. But the peace of God brings security in silence that restores my soul, because it allows me to sense the leading of the Spirit.

It is hard to hear Him when I am doing all the talking.

Psalm 46:10 has become a life verse; “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I imagine the Lord placing His hand over my mind and my mouth, not in the harsh way that others may want to silence me, but tenderly, as a loving Father, reminding me that I don’t have to work so hard to be acceptable to Him. And when I silently obey, He rests His tender hand on my anxious heart and stills it, until it beats in time with His.

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References

1. I Peter 3:3-4 from the New American Standard Bible

2. Psalm 46:10 from the New International Version, 1984 edition

 

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Speaking Up for Those Who Cannot

Today I am taking my pastor’s challenge from Proverbs 31:8, to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Please know that this topic is controversial, and may be upsetting to some.

In ancient times pagan civilizations offered up their children as human sacrifices to appease their idol gods, in the hopes of improving their circumstances. Perhaps the offering would result in more rain, better crops, better hunts, or better lives. The people danced and chanted as their children screamed, burning alive. This kind of culture is unimaginable to us as civilized Americans. How could anyone ever do that to their precious children?

We imagine ourselves so much more educated, so much more enlightened, so much more virtuous. Such barbaric behavior would never be tolerated in America today. We love our children. We have laws in place to protect them from abuse and neglect. We have agencies whose sole function is the enforcement of those laws. We highly esteem the education of our children, and we prove it through the money we pay, not only for taxes, tuition or curriculum, but also for all the additional educational opportunities and supplements we deem necessary for their learning. We congratulate ourselves on this forward-thinking philosophy. We are good parents, good stewards, and good citizens, because we care for our kids.

But we are kidding ourselves. We have exchanged the truth for a lie. Every day, thousands of American children are being offered up to the idol gods of self, society, and fear. Do we really think that, because this is done privately, in modern, sterilized doctors’ offices, rather than corporately, in community temples, God cannot hear their screams?

There have been many debates in many places about the issue of abortion in all its forms. These debates reach the highest political arenas in our land. But abortion is not a political issue. Abortion is a human rights issue. The very debateableness over the “humanness” of an unborn child is mind boggling. How can we Americans, who love our children so much that we glorify youth above all other life stages, allow this federally sanctioned homicide? Because, while we do love our children, we love ourselves more. Children are inconvenient. Children are expensive. Children are disposable.

“Amen,” the Christian utters in dismayed agreement, “amen.” But there is a problem, fellow Christian; many women in terrible, impossible situations see abortion as their only hope. Shame on us. We offered no other hope.

“But there is another option,” says the Christian. Yes, there is. There is always another option: “Choose Life.” So easy to say. So easy to slap on the bumpers of our cars. So easy to chant behind condemning signs and condemning stares. But for the fearful, expectant woman, it is not so easy.

Oh, that we would embrace her instead! Embrace her in our sanctuaries, our hearts, our homes. Embrace the truth that we are all, every one of us, wretched sinners in need of a Savior. Then, oh then! Then we could show her another way, THE ONLY WAY, for her to ever find hope and life for herself and her unborn child. If we would only stop debating and start embracing, the love she receives through us may be enough to lead her to the Savior of her soul, and save her unborn child’s life too.

But what of the woman who has already chosen abortion? Is it too late for her? Christians shudder at the thought of this heinous act. We shudder at the woman who could commit such an act. But what if that woman sits next to us in church? What if she teaches our children in Sunday School?

Do we really believe God can forgive sins? Then God can forgive hers. Dear woman with an empty womb, an empty home, an empty heart, even if you are empty by your own choice, God can fill you up. God is calling you to be filled up. He can forgive your sins. Even if your sin is taking the life of your unborn child. God promises that if you confess your sins, truly confess them, then He will forgive them. Completely. There is NOTHING you could ever do that God cannot redeem. Really, God is that good.

To those Christians who today are welcoming expectant mothers with unexpected pregnancies, may God bless the love in your hearts and the work of your hands. You are doing the work of Christ. This is true religion, to visit orphans and widows in their distress. To seek out those who cannot, and to show them that God can. Perhaps if we spent less time debating the issue, and more time helping those whom it affects, then we could really turn the hearts of the mothers, and the fathers, back to their children. Even the unborn ones. In a free society, the laws of the land reflect the hearts of the people. But laws cannot change human hearts. This is how we change the law of the land: one heart, one life at a time.

This article was originally posted in 2013. I am reposting it today, January 27, 2017, in celebration of the 43rd annual March for Life, and to honor the memory of the almost 60,000,000 babies who have been murdered since 1973, the people who work tirelessly to help women surprised by pregnancy, and the women who, against all odds, chose life. 

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References

1. Psalm 139: 13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)

2. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NASB)

3. James 1:27 “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (NASB)

4. Malachi 4:6 “He [Jesus] will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (NIV)

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