Friday, June 21, 2013

Shiloh and the Supernatural

I don't even know how to describe this rollercoaster Brandon and I have been on. In just two days I fell like we went through a deep valley and came out on the highest mountain.  It has been surreal.  No, no... it has been supernatural.

Wednesday Brandon and I were pretty sure we were miscarrying Shiloh.  In his words, "There was so much blood, I didn't really think it could be anything else."  In my mind, there wasn't a lot of blood, but he didn't realize that it was amniotic fluid mixed with blood, so of course it did look a lot bloodier than it was.

Wednesday was extremely uncomfortable. The contractions (which I will call cramps) were pretty steady and fairly intense, so much so that at many points during the day I couldn't even sit up or stand straight.

By Thursday, things were much more mild, and I was a bit stunned.  Was this the calm before the storm?  Nanci, my friend and midwife, suggested we get an ultrasound.  Our favorite tech, Debbie from Sonomasters, was able to fit us in that very day!

I was nervous and excited and.... mostly terrified. I kept thinking, "It's in Jesus' hands. I can rest knowing He knows the outcome."

When Debbie put the wand to my stomach, we quickly saw a little baby blob come into view. My heart pounded furiously in my chest. Was it dead? Just waiting to expelled from my body?

"There's your baby..." she said.  And I'm expecting her to tell me... well, I'm not sure what I was expecting. But I expected her to follow with bad news.  But then she said Shiloh was moving.  Little hands and feet waving around.  Brandon and I stood there in shock.  To outsiders we probably looked emotionless.  Shiloh looked healthy, growing well, doing great.


What?

Debbie found what seemed like the remnants of another sac between Shiloh's placental sac and the uterine wall.  No one can be sure what exactly happened, but by our best guess, two sacs developed, and nothing developed in one of them. Maybe it was twins but the twin was too small or never developed? Who knows!? Only God. Maybe it was just an empty sac.

Thank you Jesus! Thank you Lord! Thank you for giving us the desires of our heart!

What is so amazing is that God knew all along.  Nothing surprises Him. The difference in my heart attitude is only because, at one point, I knew nothing and had to trust Him "blindly", and at another, I was able to see with my own eyes the truth and because I could see, I felt like I could praise Him.

Even in just the two days that we were in suspense, thinking we were losing our little Shiloh, God poured out so much love on us through our friends.  It is so, so amazing to have friends who mourn when we mourn and rejoice when we rejoice.  I can't emphasize just how awesome that is.

Last night our friends invited us over for a potluck dinner with some other friends of ours, and afterwards we sat in the livingroom praying, worshipping, and singing praise for such a great, wonderful gift. What a joy it is to praise and rejoice with those whose hearts are knit to mine.

For the next two weeks I am to take it very easy while my body heals.  I am told that I am not supposed to pick up babies, vacuum, or do any strenuous activities. I tried to get out of cooking, but my midwife wouldn't support me. Some kind of friend she is! Ha!

We are beyond thrilled and still in awe. I know God protected Shiloh while my body cramped and contracted, and we are praying that Shiloh continues to grow healthy and strong inside the womb until January when our baby is due to arrive!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shiloah, Shiloh

(A post from May 20th)

 I was reading in Isaiah this morning, really enjoying the prophesy of the coming Immanuel (Isaiah 7), and thinking how neat that, long before Jesus Christ ever came to earth as a baby, His name was already written in the word. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, "Boy, it would be nice if God would show me what to name our next child," and then I went on reading.  

I came to Isaiah 8:6, where it talks of the waters of Shiloah. I wondered exactly what those waters that the Israelites rejected was, what it symbolized, so I began studying it. Below are my observations, which have really encouraged me today.  



Shiloah- means gentle, quiet. Root word means rest.  Jesus is called Shiloh (rest-giver) in Genesis 49:10 (some verses just say "He", while others read, "Shiloh"). "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."  In Isaiah 8:6, we find that the Israelites "rejected the gentle flowing waters of Shiloah".  This is referred to as "a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the most High dwells" (Psalm 46:4). It was a gentle flowing river because it flowed from a spring, which is why we often read of Christ being the living water.  It was not a stagnant pond.  It had a gentle, constant flow.


Shiloh is an ancient village of central Palestine, Northwest of the Dead Sea.  It was a meeting place and sanctuary for the Israelites and the site of the tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (more on that in a bit).  There was a baptismal pool, Siloam, which means sent, (John 9:7) where Jesus told a man blind from birth to wash, located just outside the walls of the Old City to the southeast, which was fed by waters of the Gihon Spring (which seems to be synonymous with the spring of Shiloah).

We find Isaiah 8:6 echoed in Jeremiah 2:13, "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."  Again, in Jeremiah 17:13, we read, "LORD, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water."    This just stands as such a reminder to me that any time I turn to my own works, I am forsaking, denying, and rejecting the living water. I am rejecting Christ.  This living water is from Christ andis Christ. It comes from the very Throne of God. (Revelation 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.)  In other words, He is the Source

Ezekiel 47 is a beautiful picture of what happens when we rely on the living water.  (Below, verses 7-9)

Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he to me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that lives, which moves, wherever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live where the river comes.

Above we see a physical picture of what Jesus said would happen within in John 7:38: "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"

Isaiah 44:3 "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."

These verses in Ezekiel also remind me of what Jesus said when he called His disciples: "Come, and I will make you fishers of men!"
Something the Lord has been showing me these last few weeks is that He fills us and changes us not for just our own benefit, but for the benefit of the whole body of Christ. The river of life within the "inner man" is not just for his or her benefit, but it is meant to overflow.  Everything it touches it brings life to.  It heals. Those things don'tt just survive but really FLOURISH with life. In the Bible, we see that everywhere around this living water is lush, green life.  So we can see that the Holy Spirit, this living water, is who should flow out from us and build up the whole body (causing it to flourish), not only touching those who also already have the Holy Spirit, but bringing more into the fold as well.  It is HIS living water that does it. Not us. It is His living water that refreshes and revives, heals and helps, cleanses and satisfies. Nothing else will do. Our own cisterns are empty and can offer nothing but dry dirt.  Digging a cistern is a lot of work. It keeps me busy, but it yields nothing.


Best of all, it is a free gift.

Revelation 22:17- The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let the one who hears say, "Come!" Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Isaiah 55:1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost."  This speaks of those who have nothing to offer being able to come to the stream and receive.  It reminds me that, if I think I have something to offer, if I think I can afford it myself, I will never joyfully bow before the stream to "draw water from the wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3).  All it requires is for me to "come", acknowledging my need.

John 4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
John 4:14 "... but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."


This bit below speaks of the restoration of Israel, but I believe it speaks to us as well:

Isaiah 49: 8- 10 Thus said the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; That you may say to the prisoners,"Come out,"; to them that are in darkness, "Be free!". They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

And I these verses, for me, really expand upon that- Psalm 36:7-9- How excellent is your loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house; and you shall make them drink of the river of your pleasuresFor with you is the fountain of life: in your light shall we see light.

Sounds like a wonderful place to abide- and we can! :-)



John 4:10, 14 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water... whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Welling up to eternal life. Ahhhh. How sweet is that?

This bit below speaks of the restoration of Israel, but I believe it speaks to us as well:

Isaiah 49: 8- 10 Thus said the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; That you may say to the prisoners,"Come out,"; to them that are in darkness, "Be free!". They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

And I these verses, for me, really expand upon that- Psalm 36:7-9- How excellent is your loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of your house; and you shall make them drink of the river of your pleasuresFor with you is the fountain of life: in your light shall we see light.

Sounds like a wonderful place to abide- and we can! :-)

Anyway, in case you haven't figured it out, Shiloah/Shiloh will be a nice name for our next baby (due Jan. 2014).