Our older daughter is expecting her third child, our twelfth grandchild. The mystery of new life never ceases to awe; each child is unique and blessed; the reaction is always the same -- how wonderful!
Yesterday a dear young woman I haven't seen or heard from in several months stopped by. I hugged her and as she stepped back I saw the tell-tale bulge and hugged her again.
Every child is unique and blessed -- but some are longer awaited and add a special blessing of faith and hope. A and her husband, after finding that she has medical problems that might have kept her from ever having children, waited and hoped for years, coming before the Lord both with the strong desire for a child and the trust to accept His decision. When I first met A, her quiet faith in the face of a possibility that tore at her heart encouraged me many times.
Because a child seemed not be in the plan, they decided to move to New Orleans so he could go to seminary. Easy, for just the two of them -- she could keep teaching, they could live on peanuts for a few years. Then, just before moving, they discovered a child was, after all, part of the plan. And then Katrina destroyed the seminary plans. And now they are back here, living with relatives while waiting for a house, he working contentedly at his old job, she savoring the months of preparation she thought would never be hers to savor.
She knows something of what Elizabeth must have felt when she found she would bear a son at long last, after hope had died. What wonder and amazement. What deep joy. What awe as a baby kicks and somersaults in a womb believed to be unable to carry him. What a special blessing in the lives of his family, a blessing of gratefulness and wonder given to those who wait with faithful hearts.
Children are a gift from the Lord, indeed.