God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10
Elizabeth Joice was unable to have children.
The physicians had been confident of that fact when they spoke to Elizabeth and her husband Max. "It was," the MDs said, "one of the sad, side-effects from the chemotherapy Elizabeth had taken to beat her cancer in 2010."
Of course, as you and I know, only the Lord is omniscient. In the case of Elizabeth and Max, the doctors' attempt to predict the couple's future was proven to be wrong. Last year, Elizabeth became pregnant.
Remembering those days, Max shares, "It very much felt like a miracle." The couple's good news was soon tempered when, one-month later, Elizabeth's cancer returned. Everyone wanted to know just how bad things were. Unfortunately, to get that information Elizabeth needed to have a full-body MRI and the dyes used in the scan could harm their unborn child. Elizabeth was told she needed to have an abortion before they could move forward.
Elizabeth and Max aborted the idea of an abortion and continued with the pregnancy. On January 23rd, Lily was born. Tragically, by then Elizabeth's tumors had spread throughout her abdomen, heart and pelvis. Six weeks after her baby was born, on March 9th, Elizabeth Joice died.
The mother died; the child lived. Those are the facts.
Many people wonder did this couple do the right thing. For me, the best answer comes from Elizabeth herself. Her doctors remember what she said when she held her child for the first time. Beaming, Elizabeth reflected, "This is worth it. ... I would do it all again to have this child."
Elizabeth died so her daughter might live. What a remarkable love.
In some respects, Elizabeth's love reminds us of that shown by the Savior. Of course, Jesus' love transcends even that which was shown by this wonderful lady. You see, Elizabeth had a chance to survive. After all, the doctors had been wrong before. In contrast, Jesus' suffering and death were absolutely guaranteed. If we were to be forgiven and blessed with eternal life, it was necessary for God's sinless Son to die upon the cross. And He would be placed there by the very people He had come to save.
Now it is my hope that Lily will grow up appreciating the sacrifice her mother made to give her life, but it is my prayer that every sinner will acknowledge Jesus Christ for the sacrifice He made and the victory He won to give them forgiveness and salvation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it was Your grace and love that brought You into this world. May I never take for granted the sacrifice You made so I might be forgiven and saved. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries