January 1, 2016

A Promise of Grace

At 10:30 p.m. on a Friday night our telephone rang. It was Neil Green, who said, “You had better come.” He and Maria were on their way to the hospital, where their baby daughter, Paige, was soon to be born. Paige had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18, and the doctors doubted she would survive the birthing process. If she did survive, they felt she likely would only live for a few minutes. Maria had prayed that God would give them ten minutes with her. As it turned out, Paige lived for ten months. During that challenging time, the Greens will tell you that apart from loving and enjoying their infant, they learned many valuable, though difficult, life lessons.

Their experience, which Maria shares in detail in her testimony, reminds us that being a Christian does not promise a life free from trouble. It does promise that no matter what challenges life brings, God will be with us and carry us through. Furthermore, His hand of goodness is evident even in the hardest times if we look for it. The Greens marveled upon learning that although Paige was not getting enough oxygen, her physically impaired heart was designed in a manner that compensated and sustained her much better than a “perfect” heart would have. It was a reminder to them that she was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” They saw blessings in the fact that Paige caused them to pray prayers they would not have otherwise prayed. They were happy to know that God used their baby to draw hearts closer to Him—many mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children were positively impacted by Paige’s short life. Parents looking on became more mindful of appreciating their own little ones. Each bath, each diaper change, each meal, and each trip to church provided reason to give thanks to God. For a time at least, there was more patience, fewer complaints, and greater appreciation for so many blessings otherwise taken for granted.

If we are tempted to view God as unfair, or fail to understand the plan He is unfolding before us, we can benefit by the challenging experiences that we observe others enduring. The Lord really is touched with the feelings of our infirmities and has promised to extend the grace we need. When we whisper, “Lord, we need You to come to our aid,” He will do just that. Our prayer is that God will use the Greens’ story and other articles in this issue of Higher Way to be the encouragement you need at this time.

apostolic faith magazine