celebrating a (second birth)day.

I have been anticipating December 10th for a while now. I didn’t know how I would feel once it got here, but tonight find peace in God. Last year today I had beginning signs of miscarriage. The next day our little 8 week baby passed. I guess I could call it baby’s “birthday.” Even though baby had its birthday and death wrapped up in the same moment, I am comforted that he or she experienced an immediate second birth in the presence of God. What a wonderful thing…A moment I long for! Today we sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” at Sojourn in preparation for the advent of Jesus. This part filled me with so much joy…

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

So a year later, I rejoice in the image I have of that risen little one knowing fully the love of God!

Tonight I am also comforted by the doctrine of “God’s Eternity.” In Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem defines this doctrine: “God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being, and he sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time.” And Psalm 90 sings, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” I was having such a hard time wrapping my mind around how to “grieve rightly” about the loss of our baby. (As I mentioned a few weeks ago,) on one hand, if the miscarriage wouldn’t have happened, I would not have gotten pregnant with Jack. However, I love and miss my other baby and was looking forward to being his or her mom! Do I wish away Jack to have my other baby in my arms? Or do I thank God for how everything worked out?

The good news is that I don’t have to wish away either baby! Even though our minds can only conceive time in days, and months, and so on, God is OUTSIDE of time. And while my mind cannot conceive a women having two babies that are a month apart in age, what is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27). He sees our existence outside of the realm of time and space. Therefore, both pregnancies happened and mattered. Therefore, Jack AND his brother or sister exist! Therefore, both babies are my babies! God sees both children and loves them. He has a plan for both of them and will glorify them both in himself.

Because Jesus was born to come and die, light has been shone into my darkness.

Tonight I am thankful for my children and for God’s word which brings peace to my heart. I can’t wait to meet our sweet risen baby. Happy birthday, little one. Mama is so glad that you are protected and kept by a faithful savior until the coming ages, the second Advent of Christ.

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The Knowability of God {Indeed you will see}

“Go” he said,

Until rock gives way to sea, gives ways to

Salt and air and the elements all–

Until feet touch land that creaks, melts and sighs.

Rippling, crashing, splitting beneath you,

Its tired arms open to the cold of night–

Everything frozen, everything hushed.

And then, with eyes at rest, look closely.

Closer.

Closer still,

And in that moment, you will find me–

Indeed you will see.

(Anthropologie)

 

“In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God…(and) the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Psalm 10:4, Romans 1:18-20)

“If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”–Jesus (John 14, Matthew 11)

Theology= the study of God: Having a mind for what matters.

(Christie sent me this quote a while ago and I loved it so much I didn’t want to lose it.)

John Wesley writing about his mother, in reflection on her journals and life:

“She wrote about how her correct doctrine made her even more grateful for God creating mankind and then also for redeeming us by His grace (the doctrine of double gratuity)…She wasn’t a theology professor, but a full-time, home-schooling mother at the time she wrote these journal entries. She obviously had a lively intellect and a mind for what mattered.”

I love this so much because recently I have been relit by the text we are reading for women’s school at Sojourn. Grudem’s Bible Doctrine has been teaching me about the clarity and sufficiency of the bible. The bible affirms that it is both complete and also that it is able to be understood fully. While we can never understand all of who God is or His will, He has given us His word  (which is nourishment to our souls as Christians) to reveal all that he wants us to know on this side of heaven (deut. 29:29). Just as Moses expected that the people of Isreal would be able to understand the word of Scripture well enough to teach it clearly, accurately, and applicably (Deut. 6:6-7), we too are never to blame the bible for its lack or difficulty. Proverbs says that the even the untrained and simple can be made wise by it (prov. 19:7) and Jesus answers his own confused disciples questions or failure to obey the scriptures with, “haven’t you read them?” (Matt. 12:3, 19:4, 21:42, etc).

If the “teachings are able to be understood by all who will read it seeking God’s help and being willing to follow it” (grudem, pg.52), any misunderstanding lays with us. We have all suppressed the Truth (Rom. 1:18-21) for our own form of truth. We have become unwise, distorted in our worldview, and self-worshipers.

But Thanks be to God for His good grace! First, the Spirit helped us Christians overcome the effects of sin which made God’s truth appear foolish (1 Cor 1:18-25) and now we need to be people who eagerly pursue understanding of the Word, letting it be our new standard authority of Truth. Let us never try to add to it, or become discontented with it, but understand it fully and rightly. The scriptures are what God has given us to have knowledge of his Gospel, his will, and our spiritual growth. So let’s be theologians, ladies!

I am specifically challenged by Suzanne Wesley’s life and her love for studying God. She saw right theology extremely necessary and of first-importance for her Christian life and it led her to a greater worship for the Lord and thankfulness for the gospel. Whether you are a student, a mom, a teacher, a barista, or holding leadership positions in a ministry or the church, we are all called to be worshipers of God in spirit, AND in truth (John 4).

As Matt Chandler said (to those who rejected the necessity of theology):

“Everyone is a theologian man, some of us are just heretics. Everyone has an idea about God is and how he works, some of us are just wrong. An informed mind, through the revealed word of God and the Spirit’s presence in our lives, inflames the heart. An inflamed heart creates the energy for the growing mind. Our intellect is not at odds with our faith, and our faith is not at odds with our intellect. All truth is our truth, because we are of Christ and Christ is of God (1 Cor).”