Many women are headed into Christmas with deep sorrow in their hearts. Some of us have arms that remain empty and others have arms less full than expected. I should be 8 months pregnant but the reality is, I just lost our second unborn child this year less than 2 months ago. I have a dear friend who was expecting a Christmas baby, but will not be meeting that sweet little, until heaven.
As choirs sing “Joy to the world!” our worlds sometimes feel crushed. But the reality is, our weariness has been interrupted by a thrill of hope–a reason for rejoicing.
Hope Between the Lines
This holiday season could very well be my most present yet. In this season of waiting, longing and mourning, my eyes are wide open. As they scan rooms and social media feeds, I’m faced with the many painful reminders of the loss of my two babies. We, whose wombs have been gripped with the reality of death, must learn to read between the lines to find the hope in the middle.
We feel broken when faced with yet another pregnancy announcement, but hope is found in new life.
Our hearts ache when we see our friend’s belly grow as ours remains in place, but there’s hope that God sustains life, even still.
Sorrow seeks after us as our due date draws near, but there’s a birth of a child that brings more hope into our devastated world than we could ever find in the fruition of the babies we lost.
What Child is This?
Here we stood, in our sin, shame and sorrow, unable to rescue ourselves, when God sent his only Son to pay our ransom. (Ephesians 2:1; 1 Timothy 2:6). The humility of Jesus is seen throughout scripture but with such clarity in his birth. (Philippians 2:6-8). He created the heavens and earth. His hands fashioned our bodies and shaped our hearts. (Colossians 1:16-17). And in obedience to the Father and out of his deep love for us, he came.
But listen, let this sink into your heart this Christmas as it has mine–Jesus left glory and perfect comfort to take on flesh, be raised by sinful humans he created and learn as a human learns. He, who had all knowledge, laid it aside to learn wisdom through seeking the Father. The Creator of life and Provider of all needs had to be provided for, fed and nourished. Our refuge took refuge in a mother’s arms under the sovereign hand of his Heavenly Father.
And friends, the fact that brings tears to my eyes even now, is that Jesus not only became a helpless infant, but the King of Kings submitted himself to a vulnerable womb. This reality strikes my heart because no one understands the vulnerability of a mother’s womb like a woman who has felt the life of her child fade from within.
This baby came to reverse the power of sin and death–the very cause of the grieving momma’s deepest sorrow. Jesus is the baby given to moms who have lost babies and he is not a consolation prize. He is the greatest treasure to be held. And he was given to us.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)
When your arms ache to hold your babies, when your body reminds you that death has touched your womb, when you feel all hope is gone, will you join me in praising God for the gift of his Son, born to set us free from the chains of sin and death?
Death Has Lost it’s Sting
Because of his humble, perfect life, death and resurrection, we have a hope that nothing can steal. It’s a hope that anchors the soul, even as our hearts grapple with grief. (Hebrews 6:19).
We have a Savior who is coming back for us and will raise us to new life. Soon and very soon, friends, and he will wipe away every tear we’ve cried. God made low, to raise us up. This was always the plan, and in his perfect timing, he will crush all affects of death, including death in the womb. (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55 ESV)
Take heart. And take hold of Christ. He is the baby given to moms who’ve miscarried.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3-7 ESV)