As I type, it’s 11:15 PM. It’s been a long day. A full day.
But what is on my mind now is not the random assortment of things that demanded my attention over the last 16 or so hours, but the final moments of today.
Today, some friends received the news that the child they are carrying is no longer living. Sadly, they are now a part of a club that no one wishes to join, but the roster seems to grow ever larger. And lately, I feel like it’s grown at a shocking rate.
Miscarriage, the barren womb, and the stillborn child are not a part of the natural order. It’s not the way creation was designed to be. And while it’s a part of the fall, that theological reality doesn’t make the present pain any easier.
Sitting in that hospital room tonight, my heart hurt for them. While I was grateful that they were surrounded by a fantastic small group and a solid believing family on both sides, I grieved that the gathering was not for the type of delivery they wanted. I’m sad that they will say goodbye to a baby that they never got to say hello to.
I know they will survive this. I recognize that God’s grace is enough and – as we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks – that Jesus is better. I believe that they will allow this death to be a neon sign that points their unbelieving friends to the hope of the empty grave.
When Merriem and I walked this road 18 years ago, we thought we’d never feel anything again. I still remember sitting on the bed in our tiny apartment, sobbing until there were no more tears, holding each other, praying for each other. Even now, after a solemn night like this, I think about our first child that we never met. I trust that she waits for us. I believe that her life began at conception and naturally continues in heaven.
And so it’s times like this when I trust that Jesus is better, even though I don’t understand this part of the journey. I know this is one frame of a feature length film. It’s one dot on a timeline. It’s a part of life that we’ll see clearly one day, yet through a dark glass today. I recognize that this may not fit neatly in my systematic theology, and that’s okay. I don’t have to understand the mind of Christ in order to trust the heart of Christ.
And yet, I long for the day spoken of in Revelation. It’s a verse that the Spirit graciously brought to mind as I was walking back to the parking garage tonight. It’s a verse that points ahead to a time where creation’s order will be restored, where the grave will give way to eternity, and where tears will give way to joy:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Free us. Redeem us. Heal us. What you have made true in the spiritual realm, make true in the physical realm.
You are better.