God has been reminding me to write this article for a couple weeks now. I've been living in rest and joy as God has given me a season of rest with my son and my wife. Here I am, still in rest, but bringing you a new blog post. I truly hope to resume to a normal weekly post here soon. My season of rest may be ending soon. My prayer is that it doesn't - but I know that it is coming.
Here are some exciting updates for anyone reading - you likely want the kiddo updates:
Luke is now nearly 6 pounds
He is closing in on 20 inches long
His 'official due date' is June 16th, he is nearly 40 weeks
Luke is stronger than any baby I have ever met - he lifts his head and resists most movements that are not by his own choosing
He loves eating, I assume most babies do - but he always acts like he's starving
Luke absolutely loves snuggles with Mom and Dad (and Grandma)
He clearly knows his Mom and Dad now
Luke is off oxygen, doesn't periodic breathe and only is on sensors while we sleep at night
He can wear both preemie clothes and newborn now
Luke loves grabbing his Mom's hair and Dad's beard
He is incredibly intelligent already
Luke loves his head and back to be caressed
Some of those details are just silly, but I love this kid so much and I cant help but share some cute facts about him.
Here we are, now I hope to write briefly why God answered our prayers for Luke to come home in 3 weeks. First, I want to get rid of misconceptions about why he came home early. It was not because:
Many people were praying for him
This is true! And very much appreciated! But God showed me that this is not a key contributing reason to why Luke came home so early. Many times there are thousands of Christians are praying for one thing - and that one thing does not happen.
Good Doctors and Nurses
Yes, this is also a true statement. But if you read my last post, you would know that everyone at the hospital considered Luke's development to be unreal and highly uncommon.
Parent's level of faith (for 3 weeks)
I had faith for 3-4 weeks. I tried with everything in me to believe for 3 weeks (and I did a good job) but this is not the reason he came home at 3 weeks. Something I heard was, "What if we had prayed for only one week?"
While these all play in to the reason Luke came home early - they are not the reason. God showed me to even give them partial credit is a disservice to Him and His majesty. Let's break this down and be very simple here. Luke came home early because it was God's will. So how do I defend if God didn't allow him to come early? I don't need to - I serve a good God and everything He does is good.
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You want to know why I said three weeks? Because that is what I felt the Lord impress in my heart when I sought Him. It was His will from day one. I had the blessing of knowing the end result due to relationship with God. My faith was tested because I am human, but my faith could only believe in what God instructed. Why not 1 day? Why not 1 week? God was teaching me something. He was teaching my wife something. He was rallying support of Christians. We united under a common banner, "Get Luke Home." Which was a beautiful thing. If you are reading this and you are one of those people who prayed for my son to come, understand I appreciate you greatly. But take no credit in him being home. Take no pride in your efforts. God accomplished this work in spite of our sin-filled prayers (we are sinners, are we not?)
God is a deity of purpose. Often times He is far more complex than we can fathom, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." [Isaiah 55:8-9]
We are to go through God's process(es) with the mentality to further understand who He is and His goodness. We pray not for our will, but for His - knowing He is perfect. I pray to know who He is more and more. Our goal should never be for our prayer life to be a wish list sent to Heaven. Our goal should be to have a deeper relationship with God. How much do you listen when you pray? How much do you ask God to explain things to you - rather than complain about them?
What I am trying to say is this: If your prayers are not aligned with God's will, it doesn't matter how much "faith" you have - the prayer will fail. I could gather 100 million people to pray for my son to have come home after 1 day, it would have failed. Only God's will prevails. I can hear you now, "So why pray RP?" - If you are wondering this, you need to check your heart. Prayer isn't about accomplishing a task or 'getting things done'. Prayer is about a relationship with God. If you are wondering, "Why pray?" then you don't understand prayer. I say this as a man who is still in process and learning more and more every day. Sometimes I write what I preached to myself not too long before writing it. Please, carry no offense with me. But, God wanted me to only allow His stamp to be upon my son's name. God brought my son home, He alone is in control.
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." [Psalm 62:5-8]
With everything going on in the world right now, it is easy to wonder, "What is going on?" Don't ask yourself that - don't ask your friends, your co-workers or your Facebook friends(Karen, I'm talking to you) - Talk to God. Know Him. Draw closer to Him. Understand Him. Be in relationship with Him. If you are close to Him, you just might understand His will a little bit more.
And for those that don't know God and are still reading this - perhaps you are close with me or know Luke as a family member. This article may make being a Christian seem odd - but God is the only thing that keeps my wife and myself going. We love God with everything in us. Our prayer is you can get to know Him too. He is real. He is loving. And if you are reading this, He is with you right now desiring to hold you and remind you that no matter your sin, He paid for it with the death of His son, Jesus. All you need to do is accept and believe - turn to God - He is the only thing worth living for. I'm about to become more vocal about it too. Love you all.
Think on it.