Where Life Lies

I woke up feeling peaceful. I noticed the peace the second I woke up, and when I looked at my phone I saw that it was going to snow (sadly it was just a flurry), but
I thought to myself that the peace I was feeling felt like falling snow. Gentle. Calming. Clean.

I got ready for church, then woke up Olivia to take her to pick up my Mike and Charlie at Mike’s parents house. Mike decided to stay there the night before so I could get a good nights sleep. I had a long day ahead leading a small team to take down the Christmas decorations at our church. So the good sleep and peace was amazing.

But when I woke up Olivia she seemed off. She wasn’t really talking or being herself, and she looked kind of blah. I noticed the blue lips, and figured that once she was up and moving around it would go away. But it didn’t go away. I tried to warm her up, but she wasn’t cold. I put blankets around her and laid with her by the fire.

But the blue lips wouldn’t go away.

Mike’s mom wanted to google what could be happening but I already knew. I told her not to look, knowing what she would find would upset her. It was a very real possibility that Olivia didn’t have enough oxygen in her blood, which could mean a trip to the emergency room that day, and possibly a long road ahead of us. Without oxygen flowing in the blood, there is no life. There is no hope.  (I know now that her symptoms could be a bunch of things, some serious and others not so serious, but what I did know at the time was alarming). And while Mike took her to the doctors, I was in church worshipping, knowing whatever the road ahead carried, it was going to be paved with His faithfulness, and love.

Where is the hope we are longing for? Where is the life we are promised?

And just like I didn’t want to alarm Mike’s mom by sharing with her why Olivia could be sick, there is another problem that I can want to hide. The problem isn’t a probability but a fact. The fact that we live in a fallen world in need of hope. And I know more of what goes on in the world than most people would be comfortable with, and even more than I am comfortable knowing.

I have a friend who lives in a place where Christians get killed, and I have heard stories that would make the strongest person feel sick to their stomach. I have seen hunger face to face, held sickness in my arms, and witnessed the desperation that comes from the desire to be loved. I could easily get caught wondering if there is any hope for the world.

I want to believe that there is good, I want to know He is there, and that one day it will all be made right. I want to feel the peace I felt, when I woke up the morning we ended up in the emergency. Sometimes, I just can’t see it. Sometimes, I just can’t feel it.

For the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible. Leviticus 17:11

It can be easy to feel like Abraham may have felt as he was leading Isaac to the place God had prepared for him to sacrifice his only son. Abraham told Isaac that God would provide the lamb for sacrifice, but I have to wonder that if when Abraham was assuring his son, if he ever wondered where what he was hoping for, and speaking of would come from.

Life is in the blood.

Abraham was hoping for, expecting a lamb. A baby sheep. An innocent sacrificial offering. But where was it? Where is the hope in the uncertainty?

And then it was there. Caught in the thicket. The ram. Not a baby sheep. But the strongest sheep. The one that protects its flock, and watches over it. A preview of the Promise to come. The One who would be the Hope of the world. The One who would be the all-sufficient sacrifice, and His precious blood with wash us white as snow, and secure our eternal life. Life, paid for by His blood. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who  offered himself without spot to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14 paraphrased)

No. Life is not found in our circumstances. Hope is not found in the things that go on around us. Our life, our hope is truly in the blood. It’s like scripture says. And just like the snow, that blood wipes away our sin, so we are white as snow, and gently brings us peace in this troubled world.

Now may the God of peace,who through the blood of the  eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with every good thing to do His will. Hebrews 13:20-21

So what happened with Olivia? The doctor shared our concern when she saw her symptoms and heard a murmur in her heart. So she sent Mike right to the emergency room at Yale’s Children’s Hospital, where I met them, for further testing.

Basically right after she got to the hospital, it seemed like immediately she was better. They did an EKG, ultrasound, chest x-ray, blood tests, and monitored her heart, but couldn’t find anything wrong with her, except a slight fever and a bit of dehydration.

Probable diagnosis was that she had a little virus that caused the bit of dehydration and the murmur the doctor heard in her heart. However, they sent us home with a healthy child. We are thankful there was nothing seriously wrong with Olivia, but even if there was, we know where our true Hope lies. We know Who would be right there beside us. We know where our eternal life lies. In the blood of Jesus.

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