Photos by Sweetlife Photography (www.lovethesweetlife.com)
I will never forget the wisdom passed on to us during a very difficult time, from very close friends. Jake and Anna came to visit us in the hospital the day Maya was born (and would take her newborn pictures a week later! If you’re in the Portland area and in need of photographers, they are truly the BEST in the biz and you won’t be sorry you hired them!). It was the day before she began experiencing complications and had to be transferred to the NICU. The next few days that followed were a blur of doctors, little sleep, tubes and tests for our little girl. I don’t think I’ve cried so much in my life, yet I don’t think I’ve ever felt so supported and cared for in all my life. People all over the country were praying for our sweet Maya, and our church community (which Jake and Anna were a big part of) was right there along side us the whole way.
I remember talking to them afterwards, explaining how the doctors really couldn’t find anything and somehow Maya just kept improving enough to the point where they sent us home.
We were amazed at all the drama that ensued only to lead us to the doctor’s prognosis of “I guess she just decided to puke green stuff. It’s odd, we don’t know why, but she’s okay.” And she was. Even though generally a newborn who is less than 24 hours old and has not swallowed meconium should not constantly projectile vomit bright green (we were told most likely she had an intestinal blockage and would possibly need immediate surgery), she suddenly began slowly holding down milk and spitting up much more normal colored spit up. She no longer gagged all day long. By day four, we were about ready to be discharged… This time WITH a baby!
“I guess it was a fluke thing,” I remember David and I telling Jake and Anna one afternoon. “She just stopped vomiting green, and it became like normal baby spit up,” we continued. “It must have just been a really weird fluke thing.”
Then Jake said something I will never forget.
“You don’t know that,” he said, looking at Maya. “You had a loooot of people praying. You never know what God was up to behind the scenes.”
It was as if a light bulb went off in my head.
Wisdom, straight up!
This has become one of my life’s mantras, no joke. We seriously don’t know what God is up to behind the scenes. We do know that He is good (Psalm 116:5), He loves us (Romans 5:8) and has plans to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He is sovereign (just close your eyes and turn to any psalm, you will see “Oh Sovereign Lord” written on every other one!), His purpose prevails above all (Proverbs 19:21) and all things can be used for his glory (John 9:1-3). He is at work even when we can’t see (Numbers 22:31)!
Krista already shared about Elisha the prophet and his assistant when they were being chased by the King of Aram. When surrounded by the king’s army, the young man trembled in fear. Yet God opened his eyes and he saw far more of the Lord’s army ready to fight than the King of Aram’s. God was working behind the scenes, and when He allowed the man’s eyes to open, suddenly everything changed. The king’s army was the same, but the circumstances were substantially different.
The same kind of thing happened with Balaam in Numbers 22. He was frustrated that his donkey would not do what he was commanding it so he began beating the poor animal! Little did he know that the Lord was working behind the scenes…
31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.
32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. 33 Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”
34 Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”
God can still do this today. He may or may not open our eyes to physically see what He is up to– he may or may not invite us into the script to know exactly what it is He’s up to– but we can be assured He still works behind the scenes.
As Perry Noble would say in his book Overwhelmed, “It may be time to stop praying, ‘God, get me out of this’ and begin praying, ‘Jesus, let me see You.'” (p. 81).
It is a peaceful, all consuming, overwhelming, ABUNDANT feeling to truly know that God is working behind the scenes on our behalf.
It is also incredibly life giving, gracious, and precious beyond words to have friends who speak wisdom into our lives, even in the hardest of times. We are so thankful for Jake and Anna’s friendship. And they take pretty amazing photos too :).
***This post is not sponsored by Sweetlife photography; all these opinions are purely my own. Like I mentioned, if you live in the pacific northwest and need photography for any reason, these guys will beyond impress you. Not only are they incredibly talented, but they are so. much. fun. You won’t be disappointed! Check them out at www.lovethesweetlife.com.