the Lord cannot help Himself

. that is His very nature .


I had eaten a piece of chocolate cake and finished off a carton of milk. We introduced our family to our second son, Grafton. It was early into the day; he was born at 12:30AM and our family faithfully waited until they could hold him and hug him in the mommy-baby (postpartum) room. We were happy and alive and our son was happy and alive.

I stood on the steady with the nurse and Tyler, still numb from the epidural, but needing to move and try to go to the bathroom. As they lifted, my knees gave way. I knew it but I didn’t have the strength to tell them – I was going to throw up. I threw up, over and over, and felt blood gushing out of my body. I couldn’t tell them… but I was bleeding. a lot.

Soon enough Tyler and the nurses knew. And the next thing I knew, I could hear Tyler yelling at me “RACHEL.”

I responded, yes, Tyler? … knowing something must be serious because my steady-as-he-goes man never ever yells. I mean never.

He asked me my full name. I replied, a bit tersely, from what I remember. Then I realized more fully that something was wrong and Tyler was scared. And the nurses too. And then there was Dr. Mong and a team of nurses, laying me down, shooting needle into my leg, hooking up the IV of Pitocin, waving something under my nose to keep me from blacking out again.

By God’s great grace, I was in good spirits; I made jokes and breathed the smell-wells in deeply. I kept asking the nurses to give me more. Laughing, they passed them… telling me that other patients hate them, but I thought, if this is what’s going to keep me awake, keep breathing. Breathe it in.

As Tyler stood at the foot of the bed, calming encouraging me; As the doctor stood at the end of the bed, doing his thing, … through these men I could see my little. New, fresh, sleeping life, calm. The nurses took care of me. Dr. Mong was saving my life. Tyler loves me. And while I winced (praise God the epidural’s affect wasn’t all gone) and told everyone how great I was, smiling and joking, I looked on, hard and long and full, at my little.

He was the baby promised. He was promised to me while I stood with my three-month old son at the back of a convention center listening to John Piper expound on Psalm 116:11 and Tyler with the other men in the Matt Papa Band open the gates of heaven so that the Church could enter in. It was the very end of December. My son, only three months old, the baby who the Lord gifted us with… and a second baby promised in a year. I was accepting… and hesitant. It was so much, too much? I asked the Lord for space, some time to savor our firstborn. December 7… almost a full year later, I was pregnant again.

The Lord is faithful to His promises. Grafton, our promised child.

And as I looked on and looked after my young love as everyone looked after me, I knew even in his life, even in this minute, the Lord is faithful to  His promises.

Later, after all of the crazy settled into the quiet beeps and shuffles of a hospital floor, my nurse, who is a Christian, said the Lord was looking after that baby… she admitted that hours had passed as they cared for me that they weren’t watching him, performing their regular checks. We were taking care of you. And we weren’t sure how it was all going to go for you. That was pretty rough for a time there, she confessed.

I replied, the Lord was taking care of him. The Lord cannot help Himself but to take care of  my newborn and me… and you… for that is His very nature.

When new life breaks through and cries for oxygen, when a daddy breaks into smile and a momma breaks into one big enveloping embrace and life is bathed and wrapped up and welcomed…When your whole life is hemorrhaging and you seem to have no hope…When it seems like nobody is looking on and looking after and taking care of you, the LORD sees and sees to it. The Lord takes care of you. The Lord is faithful. He cannot help Himself. This is His very nature. He looks over you and He looks at you and He looks after you with compassion,rejoicing as you triumph,  weeping as you weep. Whatever the when that you are living, life and happiness full, or bleeding out and fighting for a chance,…

THE LORD cannot help Himself but to take care of you, for that is His very nature. And He is taking care of you. 



4 thoughts on “the Lord cannot help Himself

  1. Really loved the way that you expressed these thoughts and this experience with the Lord in and through all of it (as He is!). Your words spoke to me, as I had two difficult birth experiences–a really painful third-degree tear (with a long healing process to follow) with my first baby, and then a difficult delivery with my second (no epidural and the baby was posterior-positioned). The Lord used these experiences in my life to teach me more of Himself and to “quiet” me to listen to Him more deeply–your words spoke to me; thank you for sharing them–glory to God-He is good–:-).

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