This past week I had the painful privilege of watching two close friends both become parents and lose their sweet son in the span of less than one minute. Through both the birth and the death of their child, I have learned much.
As I held Asher in the hospital room, along with many others who had gathered to support Dan and Casey, I couldn't stop thinking of how his short life, not even minutes long, is a picture of how fragile and short all our lives are, in the scheme of history, and in view of God's vastness. We are but a vapor. God is the only sure part of life. I am as weak and needy as an infant. I have forgotten that and have felt self-sufficient. It's absurd, when I really sit and ponder that idea. My pastor, Sean, said on Sunday that one day, all that we hold dear and think of as important will one day be eclipsed by what is most important - Christ. I have become complacent, not really believing that I need God and His word as much as I need breath. I was wrong. I need it more than I need my next breath.
God, forgive me for my self-centered ways. I have believed a gross lie that I don't really need you. I have sinned against you, and I thank you for how you are using the life and death of this little one to draw me nearer to you. Thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Thank you that though I sin, you forgive. Thank you that though I am unworthy of you, you love me. Thank you for softening my heart once again that I might worship you in Spirit and in truth.
This prayer from the Valley of Vision (a book of Puritan prayers and devotions) is a sweet reminder of the most important...
"The Infinite and the Finite"
Thou Great I AM,
Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur at
the thought of a Being
with whom one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day,
A mighty God, who, amidst the lapse of worlds,
and the revolutions of empires,
feels no variableness,
but is glorious in immortality.
May I rejoice that while men die, the Lord lives;
that, while all creatures are broken reeds,
he is the Rock of Ages, the Fountain
of living waters.
Turn my heart from vanity,
from uncertainties of the present state,
to an eternal interest in Christ.
Let me remember that life is short and
and is only an opportunity for usefulness;
Give me a holy avarice to redeem the time,
to awake at every call to charity and piety,
so that I may feed the hungry,
clothe the naked,
instruct the ignorant,
reclaim the vicious,
forgive the offender,
diffuse the gospel,
show neighbourly love to all.
Let me live a life of self-distrust,
dependence on thyself,