Since losing my daughter five years ago this month, I have become keenly aware God does have a plan for our lives. God works through amazing intricacies to bring glory to himself. The process always includes pain along the way. I doubt there is a human who has ever lived without a bit of pain in their life.
Because of a decree of Caesar, Joseph was forced to travel to Bethlehem for a census taking his very pregnant wife with a donkey as their mode of travel. If she had had an obstetrician, surely her doctor would have advised against going on the journey, bouncing on a donkey. When they arrived, there was no accommodation available to them. Shortly after Jesus’ birth, they had to flee into Egypt to save the young boy’s life from King Herod’s order to kill all young boys, as he heard a child had been born who would one day be king. There were so many forces working against a smooth and easy life for young Jesus. Most of us can see forces working against a smooth, easy life for ourselves today ranging from political decisions which are out of our control to inopportune moments which interrupt our lives through no fault of our own.
My mother was born with a hole in her heart before medical science had advanced enough to correct her malady. Her rural family doctor wanted her to live the final days of her pregnancy under the care of an obstetrician. Thus, she lived with her sister four hours from her hometown, her husband, and her two young boys until I was delivered three days after Christmas.
My own son was born December 23rd. But that was an easy birth. Even grandma and grandpa were at our house already for Christmas and could babysit with our daughter while we took off for the hospital. The only hindrance was a Buffalo, NY snowstorm. The roads were a bit treacherous early in the morning before plows and salt trucks had been out. We skidded through a red light.
Over the years, we developed a tradition of singing Happy Birthday to our children as soon as they awoke, and, when they were away from home on their birthday, we called first thing in the morning to sing to them. This year, Son did not receive a phone call from his father. He received a text. I am crushed over that slight. But there must be a divine purpose for that shun. It will ultimately make our son and myself stronger.
This year, I am with our deceased daughter’s family for the holidays. We had an interesting discussion today: my new DIL (as I call her) suggested we should produce a reality show of our family as we are so diverse — in background, politics, nationality, spirituality, sexuality, yet we have great respect and love for each other. One of her sons said that would not be possible as we are not funny, yet he had us in stitches minutes later. It is interesting that this family branch, though they do not describe themselves as Christian, do not tolerate adulterers to be among their ranks.
Late afternoon, my grandson and I attended a traditional Methodist Xmas Eve service with beautiful pipe organ, carols, communion, and candle lighting. The brief homily was presented by an associate pastor who is a cousin to one of Karin’s dear friends. She talked about the attraction of babies and how the world is attracted to Baby Jesus whose birth was surrounded by miracle after miracle. Imagine the shepherds seeing angels above them telling of the birth of Jesus. How could they help but run to find that babe!
Jesus came to create an easy path for mankind to live lives of praise to God and to enter paradise to live forever with God. The only “hard” part is to ask forgiveness for sin, repent, and turn in another direction — toward God. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (I Corinthians 9:15)