Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Child Is Born

“…she will bear a son…” –Matt. 1:21 A year ago, there was a flurry of activity in the Staples and Mason camps. Elizabeth wasn’t far from delivering her second baby girl, Lucy, and we were all expectant. It was an issue of growth. The obstetricians were concerned that the baby wasn’t developing on pace and that they might have to induce labor. There was cloud of uncertainty about the outcome and we were all trusting God, but were a bit anxious. That’s the problem with the vessel called uncertainty. It can only be filled with one of two things: a trusting faith or an anxious worry. That was pretty much the attitude in Mary and Joseph’s family a few thousand years ago. Mary and Joseph were the perfect couple, then BOOM, suddenly Mary is pregnant. The angel explained it all to Joseph and Mary, but it wasn’t in the plan. They knew they’d done nothing wrong for, as the angel explained, “the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 1:20). But everyone else didn’t know that truth. After Jeanie and I had married, I asked a wise man once, “How do you know when it’s time to have kids?” His answer surprised me, “You don’t. It just happens.” Proverbs 16 reads, “Man plans his way, but God directs his steps.” And so it is with having kids - it just happens. Children are the natural by-products of a husband and wife who love each other. And so it was with Lucy and with Jesus- both a part of God’s perfect plan. We made a quick trip to Fort Worth to be with my mom and prayed that Lucy would be born on her January 21th due date. But we knew it might be earlier. We drove my gas guzzling SUV to Fort Worth in case we had to suddenly jump in the car and make the drive from Texas to Des Moines in the snow. We prayed for the best and prepared for the worst. Both would be a part of God’s plan, but we petitioned God for three more weeks. Our request was denied. We got the call on Christmas Eve that they would most likely be doing a c-section the following morning. It sure wasn’t our first choice. The “why” question surfaced. Why would a loving God want this to happen? Of course, we had no answer. We rarely do. We don’t need one. God grades the tests and he has the answer sheet. So, we jumped in the SUV, got five miles to the gallon, drove through the ice and snow (mostly in Texas!) and made it to the hospital in Des Moines at midnight on December 26th. As we hurried to Elizabeth’s room, we were surprised to see a beautiful baby girl named Lucy Katherine! The delivery went well and both baby and mom were healthy and strong. Lucy will be one year old in a few days and she is beautiful. There are no signs and deficiencies due to low birth weight. As a matter of fact, on her due date, three weeks after her birth, she was already up to a normal weight. God had a plan for Lucy. God had a plan for Jesus as well. He knew that a world rocked by evil and suffering could only be rescued by a baby named Jesus. He knew that God’s grace would have to be carried in the model of a child and then confirmed by that man on a cross. He knew that anything less than the death of His precious baby wouldn’t do. Today, every time at look at Lucy, I smile and remember last Christmas and what a special gift God gave us. Every time God looks at us, He remembers His precious Son and His rescue mission on planet earth. It all began in a manager in Bethlehem and that’s what we celebrate this week. Thank you God for our precious Lucy. And thank you for your precious son, Jesus, whom You chose to send…. …that we might be yours again. Merry Christmas! By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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