“God is the greatest thing that exists, ever has existed or ever will…for us to glory in anything else, would be sin, as there is nothing greater than God, there is no calling greater than praising God.”
― John Piper
“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Two weeks ago yesterday, I almost lost my sister and my unborn niece.
It’s really strange how one moment life is just happening all around you…and in the next it just stops. And stands still. And you’re left waiting for answers, but not really knowing if you really want the answer after all.
I was on my way home from work, had just picked up my children and our new kitten and was headed home when I got the call.
There wasn’t much detail…because no one really knew anything. But knowing what we did, we all knew it was not good. I don’t know all of the details exactly, but I knew enough to understand that my sisters life, and her baby’s were in danger. And time was on no one’s side.
An ambulance picked up my sister and her husband from the side of the road. A police officer drove the ambulance to the nearest hospital because all of the paramedics were needed to attend to my sister. She was loosing blood, and loosing it fast. At 5:02 PM she arrived at the hospital. At 5:16 PM my niece was born via emergency c-section.
The doctors told us that if the ambulance had arrived four minutes later…it would have been too late for both my sister and my niece.
According to the doctors my sister sustained a loss of over 50% of her blood. She received several blood transfusions. My niece had some difficulty breathing and was treated accordingly. At first, it looked like her needs may be too many for the hospital she was at, but steadily she improved and has been growing and improving by leaps and bounds. The doctors told my sister that women who loose so much blood are not usually able to produce milk. But my sister did, and was able to nurse her baby almost right away, although my niece has remained on a feeding tube for several weeks because she is so little she doesn’t wake up to eat on her own. I guess that’s what happens when you’re born seven weeks early.
I went to work the next day. I’m not one to sit around and wait for news.
That day I called my pastor to give him an update, as I had asked my church to pray for my sister from the moment we first heard she was taken by ambulance.
I explained that all I could think of was…”four minutes”.
Four minutes and two lives had been lost.
If they hadn’t already been on their way from the hospital for a check-up, they may have been four minutes more away from help.
What if there had not been police officer to drive?
What if the ambulance hadn’t arrived so quickly?
Sometimes I struggle to understand the purpose of His will. I feel so small in the midst of this world and wonder…what is His intent in all of this? What was His point in all of this?
He didn’t have to step in and intervene. But He did. So there must be a reason, right?
My pastor encouraged me not to try too hard to understand the will of God. For no man exists who can.
It took me a couple days for the miracle of what had happened to sink in. I almost lost my sister, and my niece along with her. It’s a lot to take in. And still I struggled…why God, did You choose to intervene. You didn’t have to, and yet You did.
But as often they do, my thoughts have led me no where. And so I arrived at the conclusion that sometimes God works in marvelous, un-explainable, miraculous ways simply because He can.
And maybe that IS the point after all.
He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
And perhaps sometimes He simply wants us to revel in the incomprehensible beauty of His power.
So this Christmas, that is what I will do.
I will fall in awe of His boundless love and power. He is a mighty God. A God who is strong enough to save; both our physical bodies and our heavenly souls.
Because sometimes, He only asks us to praise Him.
So join me this Christmas, as joyful I sing His triumph song of life.
Joyful, joyful, we adore thee
God of glory, lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee
Opening to the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us with the light of day
All thy work with joy surround thee
Earth and heavenreflect thy rays
Stars and angels sing around thee
Center of unbroken praise
Field and forest, vale and mountain
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in thee
Mortals, join the mighty chorus
Which the morning stars began
Father love is reignning o’er us
Brother love binds man to man
Ever singing, march we onward
Victors in the midst we strife
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life
In the triumph song of life