Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Through a child......

Several weeks ago, Anastacia came in one morning and said "mom, when I have a baby brother I want to name him Isaac." I asked her what she wanted to name the baby if we had a girl, the response, "I don't know." This from the little girl who had insisted for months that someday when we had a baby she was having a baby sister. We would explain that God may send us a boy. Her response...."He wouldn't do that we have enough boys in our life." (Have to love children and their honesty:) At this point I was maybe 13-14 weeks along and we had just told her she was going to be a big sister. I remember that morning Amos and I talking about we really liked the name Isaac, but we still had several weeks before we had to think seriously about a name. Later it occurred to me that that was my nephew's middle name as well, and we should probably look at other idea's and talk to my sister about it too.

A couple of week's passed and her teacher stopped me one day after school and asked me if we were having a boy, she thought it seemed kind of early to already know the gender. I told her we didn't know, she smiled and told me that Anastacia had been telling all of her friends she was having a baby brother and his name was Isaac. Kids are so funny.....little did I know how much God works through them.

Right at the beginning of this journey of the test's/specialist's/doctor's, somehow finding the gender out got lost in the shuffle of all the other craziness. I remember thinking it would be nice to know, but it somehow also seemed so trivial when they were spending 2 hours alone looking at our baby's heart. Until one ultrasound tech said "well, he is enjoying displaying himself this morning, did you know you were having a boy?" Later that day we told Anastacia she was having a brother. She said "and his name is Isaac, right mom?" I quickly said we needed to talk about it, remember that is Erik's middle name too. I had mentioned the name to my sister and she was so sweet about it I knew it wasn't an issue with them, but still we wanted to talk about other names. Anastacia looked at me so indignantly and said "no mom, his name is Isaac, just like the story you read me in the bible, that is going to be his name, not anything else." We read nightly from her bible and I knew I had read her the story of Abraham and Isaac,but I hadn't thought much about it at the time in terms of connecting it with our baby. I texted Amos and told him Anastacia really wouldn't let go of the idea of naming him Isaac, maybe we needed to talk about it some more. I went back myself and read the story from her bible, it is the story of Genesis 22........

The story spoke to me, to the point of giving me chills, here is a small part from Anastacia's bible......

"STOP!" God said. "Don't hurt the boy. I want him to live and not die. I know now that you love me because you would have given me your only son." Abraham felt his heart leap with joy. He unbound Isaac and folded him in his arms. Great sobs shook the old man's whole body. Scalding tears filled his eyes. And for a long time, they stayed there like that, in each other's arms, the boy and his dad. Suddenly, Abraham saw a ram caught in some brambles-the sacrifice. God had given them what they needed just in time. The ram would die so Isaac didn't have to. And so Abraham sacrificed the ram, instead of his son.

And as they sat there on the mountaintop, watching the embers of the fire die in the cool night air, the stars above them sparkling in the velvet sky, God helped Abraham and Isaac understand something. God wanted his people to live, not die. God wanted to rescue his people, not punish them. But they must trust Him.

I think we all struggle with the idea of God asking us to trust in His love enough to obey the test of sacrificing our own child for Him. Honestly, I remember reading this story before and not even relating to Abraham, thinking God you are nuts if you think I would tie my child to an altar, even if it is a test of my love for you. But when I have a hard time comprehending even the idea of obeying God with this request I remember that is exactly what He did for us with His son. That is how much He loves us. He loves me, loves all of us, more that I can ever imagine loving our baby Isaac. So once again we have to have the courage to trust.....

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; do not depend on your own understanding" Proverbs 3: 5

Since reading the story of Abraham and Isaac over again, I often wonder if Abraham's prayer as he walked up that mountain to sacrifice his only son, was at all similar to mine. The prayer for God to give me the courage to trust Him, and to continue to not be afraid to ask for a miracle, to heal our sweet Isaac, but at the same time to have the strength to accept God's will. Even if His will is to not say "stop". And working through Anastacia to help us name our baby boy is His gentle reminder to trust Him, even when we don't always understand our journey up the mountain.

2 comments:

Kim said...

WOW...now that is powerful! I love Anastacia's persistance. Those times we don't think they're paying attention or that they don't "get it"....not this time, she definitely gets it because I firmly believe that God laid his name on her heart! Praying for Isaac, Anastacia, Jennette, and Amos!

The Hickels said...

I'm so glad you finally had to opportunity to write down the story of Isaac's name! Hearing it last weekend gave me chills, too. Isn't it amazing how we can learn so much from our children?! No wonder God tells us that we should humble ourselves like a child. Continuing to pray for all of you!