Dr. Albert Mohler is President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and four years ago I was a student at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of that institution. In chapel on that chilly, drizzly Thursday morning Mohler was continuing his series on the Ten Commandments. This sermon was titled “The Seventh Commandment,” on “You shall not commit adultery.”
I’d just recently been introduced to the new hymnody of Keith and Kristyn Getty, whose wrote the wonderful hymn “The Power of the Cross.” They were in chapel that morning singing that very song.
Yet, as Mohler preached his sermon, four years ago at about this same time of day, my cell phone kept vibrating. And vibrating. And vibrating. I saw that it was my wife calling and at first, since she knew I was in chapel, I figured she was calling to leave me a voicemail. But as the calls kept coming my heart began to sink because I knew that something must be wrong. And what was worse is that I knew where she was supposed to be at that time? For a routine visit to her OB-GYN. We were very excited about our second child in her womb.
Very abruptly I got up from my seat about the fifth row on the right side of the chapel. I’m pretty sure Dr. Mohler and I locked eyes for a nanosecond. Nevertheless, there were more important things on my mind. The second I got out of the chapel I called my wife and by the time she answered I was always jogging/sprinting to my car, parked on the side of Godfrey Avenue by the Legacy Center. Her words on the phone, “We might’ve lost the baby,” were confirmed when I pulled up to the office and was escorted to the doctor’s office where my wife sat crying. It was official. She had miscarried.
The doctor would later call it a chromosomal abnormality, just one of those things that happens fairly commonly. She had no answers for us. The baby had not grown enough even for us to know if it was a boy or a girl.
If you are a regular reader of my blog or know me at all you have probably heard most of that story before. I’ve written about it before. By God’s grace and mercy I can honestly say that I never consciously blamed Him or, dare I say, even asked the question “Why?” The fact of the matter is that I know I have a better explanation for why 2 (which is what we call the child) died in the womb than any doctor could.
My second child died in the womb because death has entered the world through sin, and all men die, because all sinned (Rom 5:12-19). 2 didn’t ever disobey God, but the child who never made it past twelve weeks gestation was a sinner from conception (Ps 51:5). 2 didn’t die because of sins committed, but because there is sin.
I believe that God gave me a strength and peace when this happened that is otherworldly. Did I mourn? Yes. Did I cry? Absolutely. Did I ever doubt God’s goodness? Thankfully, no. In those days and weeks following the miscarriage I believe that God made me strong for my wife, who understandably took it pretty hard. Together, by the grace of God, we were able to persevere and see God’s goodness through the whole thing.
This is the first anniversary of the miscarriage in which my wife has not been pregnant, so there is a little different feeling this year than others. Until this year, ever since it happened, there has always been a baby on the way. Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to look around my house at my seven-year-old son, and the three girls who have been born to us in the last three years and not know for certain that the fruit of the womb is a reward, that children are a gift of the LORD (Ps 127).
Still, even 2 was a gift from God. While I never got to hold my child in my arms or change the diapers or feed it a bottle or even spank it, God blessed me because never before had I needed to practically rely on God as much as I did then. And God was (and is) faithful and true.
Today, as I look back on that day four years ago, I look out the window and am struck by the similar weather. I’m struck by the irony that David lost his child as punishment for adultery with Bathsheba, and I found out about losing my child while listening to a sermon about not committing adultery. But I look to the word of God and am reminded of what I believe to be true; namely, that 2 has it better than I do right now. 2 is without sin, apart from even the presence of sin, and thus is more alive than I can imagine. 2 is with Jesus, as I will be in due time. I can’t bring 2 back again, and ultimately I wouldn’t want to. I will go to 2, but 2 will not return to me. One day we will be together, though, but we won’t talk about the miscarriage. We’ll praise the name of Jesus, the One who, by God’s grace and for His glory, has saved us both.
Thank You, Father, for 2.
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