(August on the c-pap, asking for healing…)
(January 12, 2007, thanking God for the miracle of Noah…)
(The night of January 12th, resting in the arms of God, Mom wondering if God was going to keep him or let him come back to mom and dad on earth…)

Perspective, trust, and hope
…(the unedited version of what I shared on Mother’s Day…I had 5 minutes, so I left some stuff out…Sorry, it’s a bit long…)

When Pastor Shawn told me that one of his scriptural references for today’s sermon was from Exodus 2, a few thoughts flooded my mind. It’s the story of Moses’ mother placing him in a basket in the river after holding onto him for 3 months. I thought about Moses’ mom putting him in the river, probably collapsing on the bank, physically sick to her stomach, thinking out loud, “Did I really just stick my sweet boy in the freaking Nile River with a bunch of crocodiles?!” And then the big sister running along the bank, watching his basket thinking to herself, “What kind of crazy parents put little brothers in baskets in rivers?! Did my mom really just do that?!” Believe me, these thoughts went through my mind a myriad of times…Then I also thought, well that’s great, but she got to see much of the outcome of her life and death choice. Her kid wasn’t swallowed whole by crocs, he was scooped out of the river by the Princess’ court and lived in the kingdom, led the Israelites out of Egypt, split the Red Sea, saw God face to face and glowed in the dark as a result, changed the WORLD with the receiving and giving of the 10 Commandments…you know, nothing too trivial…Then I thought of August 23rd and my ‘deal’ with God regarding how He was going to heal Noah and raise him from the dead.

August 23rd was the day Noah’s lung collapsed and we had not decided if putting Noah on a ventilator was something we should do or not. After the iron lung did not inflate his lung, I called Jason and said, “Maybe tonight we’ll lay down with Noah and give him to God…And then we’ll raise him from the dead…because that’s just what you do. I mean, it happens everyday in Africa.” You see, faith was not the issue. I had and still have plenty of faith. I had ‘mega’ faith, heck, I expected a miracle! I just had an idea of how faith was supposed to work. I did the opposite of what I have said for years…I put God in a box. I had it all figured out how it would look…God either heals Noah or raises him miraculously from the dead, then for the rest of Noah’s days, he (and we) proclaims God’s love to the ends of the earth…It made total sense to me! (And did I mention God still gets all the glory?!)

Before Noah, or Emily, was ever born, we dedicated them to the Lord for His plan and purpose. I specifically prayed one night, at home right after he was born, that God would raise Noah up to be a leader in his generation, that he would be a godly example and a voice for the Lord. Therefore, God healing Noah miraculously or raising him from the dead would be the ONLY way that he could possibly be a leader among his generation, right? News of his miraculous healing would lead many to Christ and God would get all the glory, to boot! Well, that is what I originally believed. However, God is not in the shipping industry…He cannot be put into a box. His ways are not our ways. Ecclesiastes 11:5 says, “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

In Job, when God finally speaks, He’s pretty frank about what He knows and what they don’t, Who made what and who didn’t, Who was there when time began…He’s big. He’s huge, and though I had had a pretty intimate, radical relationship with Him over the past 19 years, this was it, this was my ‘go’ time. Did I really trust God with not only my life, but the life of our first born son? I realized the day we went to the hospital for the outpatient neurology visit, but were later checked in for further testing, that this was more than physical, it was spiritual. The whole of it I have yet to understand, and like the people in Hebrews 11, I don’t think I’ll get the big picture until later, but I began praying. I prayed not only for Noah’s healing, but for everyone who walked through the doors of his room; every visitor, doctor, nurse, RT, cleaning lady, supply stock boy, every sick kid down the hall and their family…EVERYONE. I realized we had to trust God whole-heartedly, no matter the earthly outcome, even though we thought a miraculous healing would still be the best way for God to really stick it to the man, so to speak, to show everyone Who’s boss. Again, my way, not His – He does not have to prove Himself, nor does He need me to plead His cause…

Anyway, as I prayed, God kept laying on my heart His desire to come for His Bride. One week in September I fasted and prayed to hear God’s voice more clearly and for spiritual direction. Not once all week did He speak about Noah’s ‘condition’. He didn’t give me insight or an answer about what it was that was causing Noah’s health to decline. The only thing in His word He continually led me to was scriptures about Him returning for His Bride and His desire to come soon. At first I was excited, but then I was a little mad. I thought, “What on earth does this have to do with Noah?!” It’s not like it was ‘news’! Jesus has been saying He’s coming back for 2000 years, so why was God showing me all this stuff in His word about Him coming soon?! I thought, “Yeah, that’s awesome, Lord, but Noah’s my sick kid and though I know you can even raise him from the dead, healing him now so we can get busy living for you would be great! Yeah, so thanks, and…could You get right on that??!!!” Again, my perspective…

We never gave up on Noah, either through research or miraculous prayer, but after wrestling with God’s heart in the matter and a perspective more awesome than our own, we knew in our hearts what God was asking us to do. It never crossed my mind that in Noah’s death, peoples’ lives would be reached for God’s glory because his life was so short in human terms. I couldn’t fathom it, yet I knew it was true. We had to trust God. Really trust Him. In August, laying Noah before the Lord was on my terms. In January, it was a genuine surrender of trust on our parts. We were truly broken…

The week we shared on the blog that we were going to give Noah to God as a gift on the 12th, every continent had checked in and about 15,000 people had read his story. By Friday the 12th there were over 40,000 unique hits, not just computer data, but people praying. Today, over 120,000 people have read Noah’s story. We have received thousands of emails from people all over the world whose lives have been deeply touched by Noah’s life, because his sweet life pointed to Christ. Many of these emails are from people who had strayed from God, others who were never raised with any faith, and a lot from people who love God but never knew the depth of surrender He desires of us. I share this not because the blog is ‘popular’ or something meaningless like that, but because already we’ve had a glimpse of the deep impact of one life, and death, surrendered to God’s plan. Moses’ mom got to see her son lead God’s people out of Egypt, but only once he was no longer in her ‘possession’…No, Noah wasn’t Moses, but I believe he has already been a leader in his generation, and will continue to be by the many people who now walk with God, the True Lover of their souls, more intimately because of a sweet little boy…

Even as we turned the ventilator off and knelt before God with this most beautiful, precious gift, we believed that He could either heal him or raise Noah from the dead. The difference, though, was that we were offering Noah to God with no strings attached this time. A free gift, one in which we knew He would delight. We weren’t boxing Him in…God could answer the prayers however pleased Him. He knew our hearts were pure of any human agenda. It wasn’t, “Here, we’ll do our part, now You do Yours according to our will…” We had to believe and trust that the God of the Universe, the One that threw every star in place, made man out of dust (Who does that?!), knows every hair on our heads, which is you times 6.5 billion people times an average head of hair, the One who is not a man that He should lie…we had to trust that God sees the bigger picture. We had to trust that either God is Who He says He is, or He’s a liar. We had to trust that God loved Noah more than we did and that even though it stinks for us here, heaven has got to be an amazing place if God wanted Noah there so badly. We had to trust that just MAYBE God views death differently than we do…Our perspective on abundant life in Christ, physical death and eternal hope had to change in order for real trust to take place in our hearts.

It’s difficult to sum up a 7 month journey in a short amount of time, but I want to leave you with this quote I learned after Noah went quickly into the arms of Jesus…

“The tragedy is not that ones life ends so young, it is that some people wait too long to start living.”

Somehow Noah knew his purpose and lived it to the full, regardless of his physical inabilities and a short time table. His Spirit was willing, and therefore, he was used…I am honored and deeply humbled that I was chosen to be his mom on this earth. I pray that my life would be as fragrant an offering to God as Noah’s was…

*(The other day I got a comment from someone who was sad that I loved God more than I loved my own kids…It’s my hope and love for God that physically enabled me and my husband to take Noah off of life support. In my selfishness, he could still be on those machines today, but he’d be dying a slow and painful death. To have the hope of heaven and everlasting, abundant life, worshipping God alongside Noah, is priceless…I cannot imagine if dirt were Noah’s and my final destination, or even an endless cycle of reincarnation…That’s not priceless, it’s hopeless. Hope is my treasure stored up in heaven.)


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