Verse of the Day

"My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."

~Job 42:5

Today's Devotional Thought

June 03, 2014 by Rachel Piferi


Before the Miracle

For the rest of my life, today will be the day that God just changed my life. In one sweep of his almighty hand, God saved my daughter's life. And he took a baby who was "incompatible with life" and gave her so much life that by breathing life into her, God breathed a new life into me.

It truly is too much to comprehend and even though it has been 6 years since he revealed his power and sovereignty over life and performed a miracle in Isabella's life, it still gets me to my very core.

Every year, as we approach Isabella's birthday {and if you do not know the story of Isabella, please read about it under "About Us"}, I am overwhelmed with the fullness of the experience of her birth. The miracle is really incomprehensible. But today, I want to share with you the moments before the miracle. We talk a lot around here about what happened after the miracle.

Well today, I want to talk about the months before the miracle.

I can remember them like they were yesterday and every year at this time, I remember that time before the miracle very vividly. It is always a somewhat somber time for me because of the enormity of it. And oh how I never want to forget what God did then and continues to do in our lives.

The book of Job ends with a description of how God restored Job's fortunes and his family. After much sorrow and loss and agonizing with God, we are told that the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12). And we are tempted to leave the book of Job thinking all is well. He got through his trial and he is blessed and all is good now. And while there is no denying the blessings that he received, I imagine that it didn't totally erase the suffering that he experienced. He may have experienced great restoration after his sorrows, but he still suffered. And as he experienced God's mighty hand of restoration, did he think back every now and then on the pain that came before it?

I'm sure he did.

I think about that because that is sort of how I see Isabella's pregnancy. We were blessed beyond measure at the end of it, but that doesn't completely take away the suffering that came before the miracle.

The miracle was real.

But so were the months of anguish leading up to the miracle.

And the months of waiting were just as important to my experience of God as the miracle at the end. The months before the miracle taught me as much about God as the miracle at the end did. And little did I know, all of that learning about God was merely the beginning of a lifelong pursuit to know him more.

If I think too much about the months of Isabella's pregnancy, I can almost feel the uncertainty and distress again. Even though I know the ending and I know the joy of the miracle, I still know the pain & uncertainty of the waiting.

And there is so much I remember about those months leading up to the miracle.

I can remember the pit in my stomach that emerged every time a stranger asked me when I was due.

I can remember going to a baby shower for a friend knowing that I was not going to have one for my baby.

I can remember the way no one really wanted to talk about my being pregnant and the awkwardness that would emerge among those who knew the prognosis and did not want to upset me by talking about it.

I can remember the way it felt like life had just paused and we just had to wait and see what our future held.

I can remember wondering if the doctors were right and what it was going to feel like to meet my daughter only to have her gasp for breath and die in my arms.

And more than anything, I can remember lying on an operating room table in Baltimore, MD right before surgery and pleading with the Lord that this was it. If he was going to heal her, this was his last chance. He had to reveal himself now. And as I began to go numb, I remember begging him to truly be with us & sustain us as the night went on and our uncertain future was becoming our present reality.

But even though I can remember all of that pain and uncertainty, I can also remember the presence of the Lord through it all.

I can remember our precious small group that prayed for us and hugged us and cried with us weekly through the entire waiting.

I can remember the unfathomable peace that I had and even though the ending was likely to be really bad, knowing that we were going to make it through somehow.

I can remember emailing Wendy and typing how I wanted to use this someday, almost as if my penning those words would be a kind of commitment to truly turn my pain into great purpose {and little did I know how prophetic those words would be}.

I can remember singing praise songs in church each Sunday morning and knowing that with another passing week, we were closer to the true journey the Lord had waiting for us. And I can remember that as I sang each Sunday, it was the place I felt the presence of the Lord most strongly and where I felt strengthened to take another step on the unknown journey.

I can remember the moment that Isabella met us and she cried so loudly that my soul felt the awareness that God may have granted our request and that she might live.

And I can remember imagining how the angels in heaven must have burst into glorious song at her miraculous arrival.

Oh what an incomprehensible journey it was before the miracle.

I have a special place in my heart for Job. Because I feel like I can understand completely what he meant in Chapter 42 when he said, "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you" (v. 5). Because through it all, through the good and the bad, I saw God.

In the days of waiting, I saw God.

In the moments when a friend would hold my hand and cry silently beside me, I saw God.

In the dark of the night as I lay awake wondering what the day of her birth would bring, I saw God.

In the way that he truly carried me through the darkest time of my life, I saw God.

And in that cold operating room on June 3rd, with the odds stacked against her and a roomful of doctors, medical staff, and students, I saw God.

My ears had heard of him many, many times. But it wasn't until my darkest valley that I could say that my eyes have now seen you. And because of the fresh vision of God that I got, I can thank him for those dark days before the miracle. As bad as they were, they allowed me to see God.

The miraculous birth of Isabella was certainly a gift from God. But, so were those days before the miracle. Because in those days, my eyes were opened to who God was, what he had the power to sustain us through, and what it meant to truly wait on him.

Oh what power and grace and love of God my eyes have seen...both before and after the miracle.

Memorize this verse today:

"My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."
~Job 42:5

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