No Stretch of the Imagination
Imagine you are pregnant with twins. If you are a guy imagine your wife is pregnant with twins. Oh, the joy and emotions that accompany being an expectant parent! You ask questions like “who are my children going to be?” “how is God going to use my kids?” “will I be a good parent?” all of those questions that accompany being an expectant parent run around in your mind. Parenthood is an awesome blessing God has bestowed upon you, and you cannot wait to see how He uses it. Now pretend that your wife gave birth to those twins, but not when you were expecting, but instead during her 24th week of pregnancy. For those of you who do not know what that means (I did not), 24 weeks is early. It is upon having these twins that the reality sets in, these babies, your children, this blessing you praised God for bestowing upon you, face the high probability of dying. Would you still view God as good? Would you still feel blessed? Would the same God whom you praise in the good times, live your life for, make claims to have faith in, still be good? Sure you do fine in the good times, the times of ease, of comfort, and the day to day trials, but when the crap hits the fan where does your faith really rest? Over the past month I have been watching this scenario play out with a guy I knew when I was at New Tribes and his wife facing, who are presently facing this very situation. This is their reality right now.
Tiniest of Teachers
I never imagined God could use tiny, one pound babies to teach so many so much. Is that not the way God works though? These babies who are holding on for dear life, no means to communicate, speak, leave their beds even, are in a situation, surrounded by people, that says more about God, than what many theologians do in several books. I am not the only one following the situation, there are thousands of people watching, wondering, waiting, eager to see what God is going to do. What makes the life of this couple so interesting is not, as miraculous as it is, the fact the babies still live, that they continue to fight, nor the support of the Body surrounding these people, as awesome as that is too, but how this couple, Diego and Naomi are responding to this trial. Quite possibly this is one of the hardest things they will ever experience, and yet through each and every update, it seems more and more obvious where their faith rests. While I am not there, nor do I have any clue about the ups and downs they are having, what I do know is that people who are not trusting in the Lord do not respond the way they are responding. As it stands none of their ordeal seems remotely close to being over. Each and every day they have to trust in God for today, because they do not know if either baby will have tomorrow. The rubber of their theology is hitting the road of their life. Even throughout all this, each post seems more filled with praise and joy than the last. Like I said I have been following this situation daily, and each time I see it, think about it, pray for Diego, Naomi, and the babies, their life becomes a very real illustration as to what the Christian life is about
I have always been a skeptic of prayer. In my mind, and this is as close to Calvinism as I will ever get, God is going to do what He is going to do, and no prayer of mine is going to change anything. Watching the Senn twins I have consistently seen prayers be answered. Ultimately, this is my point in writing all of this. I have seen prayers answered constantly and consistently regarding this twins, and it has challenged how I view prayer. My life is not really a life of prayer, sure I talk to God, a lot actually, but I am not one who really values prayer, especially in the conventional sense, unless of course the crap is hitting the fan or I need something, then I will pray a typical prayer. The fault in my thinking though, of praying and talking to God, has always been my purpose in praying is so God will do something. Find me a believer who has not thought this way, at some point or another. Praying occurs when you need something, and that is the extent of any legitimate praying that is to be done. Following the Senn twins, I have learned something very valuable about prayer, prayer is not so much about what you want God to give, but it is about your faith being manifested in a willingness to communicate with Him. This does not mean God does not answer pur prayers the way we want them, He does sometimes, what it does mean though, is that you are in communication with God, about your needs, about your life, and are willing to praise Him regardless the outcome. Prayer is not about what God will do, but about communication between us and Him through faith, showing obedience in whatever way He chooses to respond. That is what prayer is about, and through these tiny babies, and their dear parents, I have been able to learn just that
People Who Pray
We are not people who value prayer the way we should. I do not value prayer the way I should. My dear roommate has done his done his hardest to keep alive a student lead prayer organization. Nobody comes. Our corporate prayers often are reflective of our heart for prayer, through clichés, bland tones, and an all around sense of boredom, as we pray about whatever it is we pray about. I go to a Bible college, and if I can speak honestly, it seems like prayer is usually the last thing on peoples minds. It usually is the last thing on my mind. We do it, it happens, but the level of priority it receives is often pretty low, and I say this about myself also. Prayer is important, and if there is one thing the Senn babies and their parents have taught me, is that it is vital. I am not one who has any idea what prayer does and does not do, but whether these babies live, or if they die, God is absolutely doing something with their lives, the prayers of their parents, and the prayers of the people supporting them. Maybe God does act based on prayer, then again maybe He does not, whatever the case, our prayer lives are reflective of our spiritual lives, and most importantly how dependent we are on Him. Lack of a prayer life often is a key piece of evidence that we are being completely self reliant, and if we are relying on ourselves we are not relying on God. Whatever the fullest functions of prayer are and are not, what I do know is that growing in Christ, means praying to God. Even if our circumstances do not change because of it, we will change, because as we communicate with Him, He communicates to us, and as we learn from Him, we can live for Him. Do you pray to God like you mean it, actually talking, thinking, interested in speaking to Him, or is it another practice in your line up of rituals that are a part of your Christian lifestyle? Do you pray at all even? What does your prayer life say about the rest of your life?
I cannot tell you what God is going to do with those twins, in their parents lives, your life, or my life even. What I do know is that we are not only capable to communicate with God about life through prayer, but we have a responsibility to do so. Pray for the Senn family will you? I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through, but God knows, and there is a lot of comfort that can be taken in that.
If you want to follow the Senn twins updates on Facebook follow the link below…