The call came while lunching with friends and family. “The baby is in distress and they are going to do an emergency c-section.”
Five hours away, the husband raced home, arriving in time to see his brand new baby girl swaddled into a transport incubator for a flight to a neonatal intensive care unit another three hours away. Prenatal concerns had indicated this scenario might play out.
Gratefully, no emergency surgeries were required. Sadly, the prognosis was Trisomy 18 – a genetic disorder. Little Nicole Grace probably wouldn’t live more than a few months at best. And she didn’t. At five-and-a-half months she went to live with her “Other Daddy.”
Sometimes a dad finds himself helpless and unable to rescue. Though our Heavenly Daddy can always rescue, sometimes He doesn’t.
That is when we have to redefine what it means to be rescued.
God hasn’t promised to rescue us from pain and sorrow. In fact, He promised we would experience these. “… In the world you will have tribulation ...” (John 16:33, NKJV).
Shockingly, He commanded that we rejoice when we go through these times. “… count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4, NKJV).
Those things we wish to be rescued from are agents of growth, even when they bring a pain so deep we fear it will smother us. “… we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4, NIV).
Rescue doesn’t come from the outside; it comes from the inside. It’s our hearts that need rescuing – not our circumstances or our situations.
In Our Victorious Heart: a journal of Grace,* my sister and brother-in-law, Deanna and Jim Reynolds, share the story of Nicole Grace. They write openly about the emotional turmoil they endured, and encouragingly about the current of grace on which their Father God carried them through their journey.
I remember at Nicole’s funeral Jim sharing,
Though this circumstance did not turn out, in any way, as we had hoped, we still serve a good, loving God. … we refuse to hold Him hostage to this particular circumstance, this particular sliver of time. This circumstance does not change who He is. He is – and always will be – faithful, good, and loving. Nothing can change that. (p. 156).
As a SAFE** mom, I begged for God to rescue me over and over.
“God can’t you just restore those brain cells destroyed by fetal alcohol consumption?”
“Can’t you heal the broken parts so my child can trust and attach to me?”
“Holy Spirit, where were you? Out to lunch? Why didn’t you speak a little louder before I flew into a raging fit?”
“Why aren’t your fixing my child?”
“Why aren’t you fixing me?”
But God didn’t rescue me. He did sustain me. And He taught me. He plowed up the fallow ground of my soul, planted seeds of His purposes, and produced sweet fruit. It just took a long time. It always does.
And that fruit? I like to call them pearls.
**Step/Adoptive/Foster/Every other nonbiological
Feel free to contact Jim or Deanna at firstname.lastname@example.org
©Cheri Johnson June 2016