It was Christmas 2010. I had just received the greatest gift I could ever unwrap, a baby boy swaddled up in a soft white muslin blanket. Not just any baby boy, however, he was a big brown eyed, curly haired boy, exactly the answer to my husband and I’s prayers. We’d been praying five years to hold a little guy like this in our arms and God so graciously answered us.
Before my sweet boy was born, I had come to a point in life where I believed there was absolutely nothing good left in this broken, beat up world. After 27 years of hard—watching family struggle with addiction, abuse, mental illness, facing poverty, hardships in my marriage and at home, and finally burying my 21-year-old sister, my best friend on this earth—I was raw, I was wounded.
And then God gave me a son.
I began to believe in good again and would do whatever I could to protect this ‘good’ He’d given me. Excessive amounts of baby gates, outlet protectors, Purell on the front door step, video monitors… you get the idea. But I couldn’t protect him from everything.
One cool, Texas evening, my husband carried our 2-month-old boy upstairs to change his diaper, as he often did. On the way back down, he slipped, fell, lost control of our baby and I was certain he was gone.
I found myself in the back of an ambulance watching paramedics use scissors to cut the green and white striped onesie off my still, lifeless newborn. They strapped a neck brace around his neck and monitored the massive hematoma forming on the side of his head.
I cried out to God in the back of that speeding, metal truck, “I knew I couldn’t trust you for good. Everything good in my life has been broken or taken from me, and now this too. Of course you would do this to me. Of course you would take my son.”
In all my anger, fear and brokenness, God is so gracious that he would answer me,
“Tamara, I have good in store for you. So much good in store for you. But I need to know that you are going to trust in Me, the giver of those good gifts, more than the gifts themselves. I need to know that you are going to fall deeply in love with my Promises over my provision. This little boy laying on a stretcher in front of you, your son, he isn’t the greatest gift you have ever received. My Son is. Jesus is.”
Those are the words that wrecked me. My whole life I had longed for the gifts of this world more than the Creator of the world, himself. I wanted what I thought was promised to me- not wealth or fame, but a simple, storybook life, one free from so much sorrow and pain.
Everything in this life is broken because we live in a broken world. But that is why Jesus was born, to die and free us from everything that separates us from relationship with God our Father. He came not just to heal our broken condition, but to mend our broken hearts.
Josiah had a fractured skull, but the bleeding didn’t go through to the brain. After a few follow-up appointments he was cleared to live life as any carefree boy. But I suppose I was the patient in the back of the ambulance that night. I was the one who needed stripped down and bandaged up. I was the one who needed healed. I was the one who needed reminded that the God is good.
God wants be the greatest gift we have ever received so he can fill us with the greatest gifts of himself—-his love, joy, peace, comfort, healing, a sound mind, courage, patience, hope, faith, light and life—abundant life. These gifts simply can’t be created or bought. They are already wrapped up in a manager, purchased with the blood of Christ and given to all who believe.