for Elizabeth

For Elizabeth   A brand new granddaughter was born into our family last week. Elizabeth Janet came early. She tipped the scales at 3 lbs. 6 oz. She measured 15 inches short. It was hoped she would stay inside mommy until week 34 but Elizabeth had other ideas! As I write she is five days old and doing well.

Somewhere I read this provocative statement: “Babies are God’s way of saying the world should go on.”

Sometimes it doesn’t seem the world should make one more rotation. It must’ve seemed that way for many people who’ve come before us.  Our Bible reading this week outlined the darkest days of the history of Abraham’s children. Imagine the entire population of Erie County being exiled to Saskatchewan. Families and belongings scattered from Buffalo to Saskatoon.

Imagine spending most of your life there…….

Then suddenly you are offered a chance to move back to Erie County.

Should I stay or should I go?

Would you leave property, business and friends behind? Moving means returning to the land of your childhood and heritage. It’s a tough, emotional decision.

Not many of Abraham’s descendants were excited to return to their homeland. It was a mess. It would take generations to rebuild. Though few in number those who came were undaunted. They had to start from scratch. Still they could not believe the opportunity in front of them. The hand of God opened the door and they boldly walked through.

Those pioneers wrote 11 songs about their experience, preserved for us in the Bible. They reviewed their history, spoke of their regrets and dreamed of their futures.

Despite their dark past there was hope.

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6

Is it fair to say that those who have endured much seem to understand joy better? Do parents who experience severe complications in childbirth cherish their babies more than others? Those who have lost much seem to celebrate small victories more joyfully. Cleveland Indians fans enjoy their team winning a division crown more than spoiled San Francisco fans.

Go weeping but return singing. That’s a good day.

Phone calls, prayers and long walks followed by a birth announcement. That’s a good day.

Exile, captivity and slavery followed by release and a trip home. That’s a good day.

If God is involved no situation is hopeless. He can make tears turn in to a celebration.   Be strong and courageous, MB