Isaiah 25:8 – He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. (NIV)
In September 1994, Robin and Matt, our daughter and son-in-law, suffered the loss of their first baby boy. Matthew Thomas was born prematurely and lived only 13 days before he passed away.
Matthew Thomas weighed in at only 2 pounds and 2 ounces, and the doctors, while not saying so out loud, gave him little hope of surviving. However, as the days went on, he grew stronger and stronger, and by the end of about 10 days, the doctors were getting quite encouraged. In fact, the doctors and nurses in the Neonatal Center started calling him their "miracle baby".
Then one day when his grandmother and I went to visit, we noticed that Matthew Thomas had been moved to a different section of the room. When we asked why, we were told that there was a new baby, whose name was Braxton, who had also been born prematurely (only a pound and a half) and he was doing very poorly — but the doctor thought that if they placed the "miracle baby" next to him, this might be an inspiration to Braxton, and he might get stronger just as Matthew Thomas had done.
And while Matthew Thomas was getting stronger and stronger each day, a hospital error occurred, and he quickly took a turn for the worse and passed away.
Since then the Lord has blessed Matt and Robin so very much. They have two healthy boys, Nicholas and Spencer. Both boys are very healthy and were the answers to many prayers. In fact, they are so healthy that they are continually outgrowing their clothes, so in the spring of 1998 Robin decided to have a yard sale — mostly to sell the baby clothes that Nicholas and Spencer had outgrown.
About mid-morning, a lady arrived at the yard sale looking for children's clothes, and as she was talking, she mentioned that the clothes were for her son who was about 3 1/2, but he was small for his age, because he had been born prematurely. Robin asked for some of the specifics: how many weeks premature, what hospital, how much he weighed, and how he was doing.
As the lady explained, she told Robin that the doctors had not given them much hope. They told her that her son — if he lived — would probably have major complications, and that he would possibly be mentally handicapped or even blind. However, after spending 7 long months in the hospital, he was completely well today. And while he was still small, he was catching up with the other kids his age.
As she spoke, Robin thought she recognized the lady, and right out of the blue she asked, "Is your son's name Braxton?"
With surprise, the lady said, "Why, yes, it is. How did you know that?"
Then Robin explained about Matthew Thomas, and how the doctor had moved him next to Braxton to be an inspiration, and then how Matthew Thomas had died.
And then for the next few minutes, the two women embraced. They held each other closely. They cried. Without words, they continued to embrace, and they continued to cry. Then as the two of them slowly ended their embrace, the lady whispered to Robin, "I'm so sorry your baby died, but maybe your 'miracle baby' helped my baby to live."
Prayer: Our Father God, we are so sorry that your Son, Jesus Christ, had to die, but we are so grateful that through His death, we can live! In Jesus' name. Amen.