I stood in the shower this morning and could barely contain my excitement at the news that baby Nixon is getting a perfectly matched heart only five days after being added to the transplant list. I praised God for his provision and for answering this prayer so quickly. I thought about the incredible human body He created and the unfathomable task of taking a living heart and transferring it to another’s body.
A few months ago I might have stopped there with my thanksgiving and amazement, but today, I thought about the other side to the story.
On one side of the story I imagine a mother, on her knees, overwhelmed with joy, thankfulness, and hope. Crying out to the Father, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord”. This mother recently posted, “I can’t imagine my life without this little boy“ and now she doesn’t have to. Nixon is a 5 month old precious boy with big, vibrant eyes, and his heart is failing. A heart match and successful surgery will give this mama the great privilege of watching her little boy grow and flourish in this world. Praise God for what he has done and will continue to do in the life of Nixon and his family. It is a beautiful picture!
On the other side of the story I imagine a mother, on her knees, broken and devastated at the loss of her child. Telling God she can’t make it in this world without her little love. Questioning God’s reasons for allowing this to happen. Pleading for the outcome to be different. Praying for strength to get through something she never imagined she would have to face. Yet in the midst of her grief, she makes the life-changing decision to allow the doctors to take out her child’s heart and give it to another. It is an equally beautiful picture!
Beauty in the Joy and Suffering
There is beauty in both the joy and the suffering. On both sides of the story there is a mother on her knees placing her child’s life in the hands of the God who first created them. They are both struggling to trust God in a situation that is completely out of their control, but they remind themselves that He works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). Both sides of the story give us a glimpse of a great and loving Father who is with both the brokenhearted and those who are rejoicing. The key is to start on your knees!
As I contemplated the full picture of this story and prayed earnestly for both of these mothers, I was reminded of the sacrifice God made for us. He gave His One and Only Son who was perfect in every way, watched him die on a cross in agony and pain, all so that we might have life. Think of the gut-wrenching heartache in that picture. He made the ultimate sacrifice, because He loves us so much. How can that be?
But there is more to this story as well…
Three days later God raised Jesus from the dead, and He now sits on the throne of heaven, surrounded by all of the babies and children and loved ones who have gone before us and who believed in Him. He has given us a hope that no other and nothing else can give. When we face trials, devastation, heartache, and waiting, we can have peace knowing what God’s grace has given us… eternity.
Today reminded me that God is at work on ALL sides of the story. He sees and feels our suffering, heartache, joy, and gladness. And, He promises to never leave us.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7