The Lord Giveth, and the Lord Taketh Away

blessed  be the name of the Lord!   That verse has been on my mind the past few days, seeing the miracle of new life beginning, and the finality of life on earth ending.
Monday morning we heard there was a mother in labor on her way to the clinic.    Rho ran down to the clinic to prepare for her arrival, and soon called me on the radio telling me that the baby was already born when the lady got there.  A tiny premie baby boy, she said.    He was just a little over 3 lbs.    When I got to the clinic, Rho had him on a heating pad ’cause his temperature was way too cold.   We kept him on the heating pad all morning, keeping a close eye on him, and checking his temp regularly.   Slowly but surely, he soaked up the warmth, occasionally peeking out at the world from his little cave of blankets.  His cry sounded just like a little baby kitten, and he ate like one too, from a tiny dropper.   
Thankfully we had a very easy clinic day, which gave us more time to work with him.    We went home for lunch and came back again soon after that to check on him.   It was time to feed him again.  His mother really loved him, and very carefully fed him dropper by dropper of milk.    He didn’t seem to be eating well, and then threw up all the milk he had gotten.  He was getting cold again, and his color didn’t look good, so we decided to put him back on the heating pad again.  We realized then that something was more seriously wrong.  He wasn’t responding well, and his hands were turning blue.  We gave him oxygen and tried stimulating him, but he made no response.  Rho called Nate and ‘Nita down, and they helped us do CPR, but his heart rate just kept dropping until it finally stopped.   There was nothing more we could do.   It was sad, especially having to tell the mother.  She cried, and so did we, but it wasn’t a hopeless cry…   We felt the peace of God there with us, and knew that He was in control.   

                                                      The mother with her tiny baby…

                                                        Several hours before he died…

Just as we finished praying with the mother, another laboring mother came in to the clinic.   A couple hours later, another baby boy was born, this one perfectly healthy and strong.   It was bittersweet to see one life taken, and another given so close together like that.  I wondered how the first mother felt seeing the joy of the other mother when we gave her her new healthy baby boy to hold.  She’s not converted yet, and the next morning before she left, she asked Rhoda if she had any pills she could give her to help her get over the shock of losing her baby.   Rho took the opportunity to talk and pray with her, encouraging her to read the Bible, and inviting her to come and talk anytime, which she was very appreciative of.
We sang this song together that evening.  It’s a comforting reminder of how safe we are in the love and care of Jesus!   With things like Kate’s close encounter Saturday night and then this experience, it tends to puts life in a new perspective.  It truly is a gift from God…

Children of the heav’nly Father, safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in heaven, such a refuge e’er was given.

Neither life nor death shall ever, from the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth, and their sorrows all He knoweth.

Though He giveth or He taketh, God His children ne’er forsaketh;
His the loving purpose solely, to preserve them pure and holy.

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