Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A story of Hope for you in 2012


6am, December 25th 2011, With three children in the house you might think I am awake through the noise of presents being opened as I am sure many other parents are right now. However, I write this for a much different reason. In fact I have been awake some time knowing that I need to write this down today, before Christmas Day starts properly in our house.

To set the scene, Leonie, was due to give birth on the 14th of December, but when this date passed it was clear that Christmas was drawing closer and baby was still not making an appearance. December 23rd and we had planned to have Leonie's mum over for Christmas dinner that day, as she was at work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I decided the night before that we may as well make December 23rd Christmas Day and open all the gifts we had that day also.

So we had a wonderful Christmas dinner together, prepared by my father, and then sat down and opened all our presents together as a family. 4:53pm and Leonie started to get uncomfortable. Nothing new there, but this was different. Contractions had started! 7 minutes apart!
So after a call to the hospital, we grabbed the bags and off we went. On the way it was clear the contractions were getting stronger and with less time apart. Before we had a room the contractions were becoming a few minutes apart. What a relief that we made it to the hospital, how exciting that our baby would soon be born! How great that Leonie's mum was able to be at the birth (she sadly missed the birth of Tobias, our youngest son)!
As we both tried to comfort her, what struck us both was Leonie's politeness and consideration for others, even though she was going through obvious excruciating pain!

But something was not right. The contractions were happening too often. Up to 7 every ten minutes! So the doctors tried to reduce this with a drug. However this was not working. After some time they decided that it would be good to give her an epidural. So they called for the right sort of person to administer that. But after a while it became apparent that there was not anyone able to do it (as the situation became quite urgent).

The doctor took some time to think and then made the decision to take Leonie in to have a C-section.
So I put on the given theatre fashion ready to be with my wife, only to find when they called me,
that it was not possible for me to join them.
They had administered the epidural needed in theatre for the operation, but for some strange reason it was to no effect (they were certain they administered it properly). So they gave her a general anaesthetic so she was completely asleep while they cut the baby out.

More complications followed as they were still operating on her after an hour. I was told however that baby was fine and quite big. A girl! Finally a sister for three brothers! (Connor, Brandon and Tobias) Weighing in at 9lbs to be precise! Which is above average.

It was some time before I was able to see our daughter. Complications in the operation meant that it was about midnight that my wife came around and I was able to hold our child.

Over the next 24 hours it became apparent, that if it were not for modern technology, Leonie and our daughter would not be here today. Why? Baby had the cord wrapped around her neck in the womb, so if the first epidural had worked and Leonie had given birth 'naturally' then it would have been clear that baby would be damaged greatly, if not fatally by the cord around the neck. In a way it is a good job that the person was not available to do the first epidural, because this would mean baby would have been brought out 'naturally.' Further complications in the womb were that the bladder was stuck to the womb itself, this meant that Leonie lost 1 litre of blood and it made things difficult in finishing off the sowing of the cut.

Nearly 24 hours after our daughter was born, but without a name! We just simply could not wholeheartedly decide upon a name up until that point. One name we had considered more than others was Faith, but that was only after Leonie had started to go into labour.

What had been very clear during the labour pains were not just that my wife was kind and considerate to others, but that she had great FAITH the whole time. During the contractions she was praying to God for strength and help and safe passage of our child. Her concern was paramount for our child to be brought into the world safely.

Its very clear upon reflection that God was bringing our child into this world through faith by His grace. How so you might ask? Well I for one do not deserve such a wonderful wife and new child. They are a gift to me from God. So often a reality we miss today is the privilege it is to have the people that are most close to us in our lives.

It is from this turn of events, we decided to name our child Grace.

I write this to you after Leonie's brother recently said, "now I know why God waited to give her a name." It is very apparent that all of this was in God's perfect timing and completely by His grace towards us. Not because of who we are, but because of who He is.

Before I started to write this, a scripture from the Bible came to mind: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9.

With this scripture and recent turn of events, it might have been a good idea to give Grace a middle name of Faith you might think. However, we have given her the middle name Hope. Why Hope you might ask? Well, dear reader, our Hope is for you.

Before our child was born we prayed that she would be used by God for His glory. It is amazing that this has already happened within two days of her being born. This message is a message of hope for you, that you also might be 'saved through faith' by Grace.

Why do I need to be saved you might ask?

Before the good news, you must understand the bad news first.
The complications faced during this labour underline that there is something clearly not right in the world. Why would a loving God allow such pain and suffering? Something within us knows that in the whole of creation, there is a great problem. We have beauty in life, but we have also the pain and suffering…. Why?
The Bible says Romans 6:23 "the wages of sin is death" What is sin? "sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4. So in summary, when we (personally and mankind collectively) live life in transgression, or disobedience to God's given law: this is called sin.

The consequence brought on by sin, is not only physical death, but the suffering and grief we experience, often on a daily basis. The consequences of sin came the first time mankind disobeyed God.

I have never disobeyed God, I have lived a good life' you might say. However, with your conscience, ask yourself, have you ever taken God's Name in vain? For example, saying 'Oh my G-D.' Did you realise that this is the worst thing you can do with someone's Name? Instead of saying a filth word you replace it with God. The One who gave you the air that you breath and the ability to even say the words! Imagine if you did that every day for half of your life. I am 31 and so lets say 15 years multiplied by 365 days, I am sure when you do the Math it is quite a number of times that we have insulted our Creator. God's Word is quite clear on the ultimate consequence for this: Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

Friends, there is one thing that is on my mind while I write to you this Christmas morning, life is so very short and unpredictable, if you consider when you have taken God's Name in vain, or when you have done something else that is wrong (listen to your God given conscience), such as lying, stealing, disobedience to parents, drunkenness, sex outside of marriage. Psalm 94:9 "He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? He that formed the eye, shall He not see?" Hebrews 9:27 "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment"

Matthew 12:36 "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31 So what is the solution? How can you get into a right relationship with God?

I would like to introduce to you, Jesus Christ. Born to live a perfect life, He was without sin. Through His very love of mankind, God became flesh to make the only way of reconciliation.

Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

His method? Jesus was crucified on a bloody cross, taking the punishment that we deserve for our sin so that we might walk free through Him. On the third day after, He defeated the power of death and rose from the dead.

However, dear reader, if you are found without Christ when you stand before God in judgment, the consequence is God's prison for law breakers  eternity in Hell. "all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:8.

But it is with the desire that you do not end up there that I write this to you today. Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3.

To find out what Jesus has done for you, please read the Gospel of John in your Bible. If you do not have a Bible then I would be delighted to send you one for free.

God is very patient with all of us, the question we should ask is not so much why terrible things happen to us in this world, but why has God not dealt with me already for bad things I have already done?

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:6-7.

From my very heart, my desire for you this day, is that you will discover that Amazing Grace that awaits you through Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray you will be blessed to truly understand today, why the birth and death of Jesus Christ is so very important, every day of the year.

In love - one very blessed father 





Nigel
realanswers@hotmail.co.uk  please contact me for more information about knowing Jesus.

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