He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Mary wasn’t swept away by all the amazing promises about her son’s greatness or his everlasting kingdom, nor did she question them. She wanted to know the practical stuff – at such a supernatural moment, I love her down-to-earth attitude.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year – I love the glitz, the cheesiness, the kitsch, the present-giving and Father Christmas. I love the message: Jesus is the reason for the season.
We’d had no amazing promises about our second son’s future although, as parents, we had our hopes and dreams. Within minutes of his birth, those lay in tatters – we travelled from praying he would recover fully, to praying he would survive with some – then any – quality of life, to praying he would survive long enough to meet his brother and be baptised. Six months on, in December 1996, I thought I’d achieved some semblance of normality.
But that Christmas I could only stand silently as others around me sang Christmas songs, prayed yuletide prayers and gave thanks for God’s gift of his only son. Inside I grieved the loss of my baby son. As my brothers and sisters in Christ stood and sang the songs, said the words and prayed the prayers I couldn’t, hope slowly grew. And I realised as never before just how much God loved the world to give willingly his only son.
In the years since Theo’s death, God has been so gracious. A cause of Theo’s death was a group B Strep infection, which although usually preventable, probably wasn’t in his case. Armed with knowledge and expert support, we founded a charity to improve prevention in the UK. There have been successes – there are now national guidelines – but the UK still lags behind most developed countries, so the fight continues. Most graciously, we were blessed with the safe arrival of our daughter.
I don’t believe God makes bad things happen to ordinary folk. I do believe that, if we allow Him to, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Mary’s pregnancy out of wedlock could have been a personal disaster, but God meant it for good, and so it was.
My baby’s death was unspeakably hard, but God has used it for good, and in doing so, brought hope and healing to me and others.
What in your life could God turn for good?
Jane is married to Robert and they have two children, Oliver & Camilla. She runs a small charity, Group B Strep Support, and in her spare time she likes to read, watch birds, astronomy, cooking & being with her family, though not always in that order or together. She loves Jesus & tries to follow Him
You can find out more about her charity Group B Strep Support here:
Jane ends her reflection with the question ‘What in your life could God turn for good?’ Today’s share is less about sharing immediately but encouraging you to think about that very question. Is there something you have been through that you could share with others to help them? Why not spend some time thinking about how you could helps others through your own experiences. That could be something big like we’ve seen here how Jane started her charity, or it could be something simpler, like sharing your experiences with a friend. What in your life could be used for good…?