Tonight we celebrate the birth of the Christ child - Holy Infant, tender and mild. It is a blessing to have our children and grandchildren with us. They are all safely home in the nest and nothing makes a mother/grandmother feel more at rest. We will set the table and make a special meal; but at the same time, we are all keenly aware that their are empty places at our family table. This is the second Christmas that our children, Chad, Courtney, and baby girl granddaughter, have spent in the presence of our Lord enjoying Heavenly Peace. In this world we still grieve the “sting of death” but how thankful we are for the victory in Christ.
As I reflect on the babe in the manger sleeping in heavenly peace, I can’t help but think of the dear granddaughter that we never met on this earth. She is experiencing that heavenly peace today. She was an “infant which never saw the light” (Job 3:16) of this world, but has only basked in the the light of heavenly glory. Chad and Courtney were excited to share with family and friends that they were blessed to be having a baby girl. Her name was a secret between the two of them. They planned to share that with us on the day of her birth. How we looked forward to learning her name. After their passing we scoured bibles, journals, computers, etc. to see if we could find any place where they might have written down her name, but we found nothing. We are comforted that the Lord knows and calls her by her name (Isaiah 49:1 “The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.”). Today she would be a one-year-old and no doubt toddling around Christmas trees and packages and enjoying the wrapping and boxes more than their contents. God in His sovereign will has instead allow this dear child to experience the gift of heavenly peace from the very beginning.
Son of God, love's pure light
Without the knowledge of God’s redeeming grace there would be no heavenly peace. Tomorrow morning we have a family tradition that has been an extra special blessing during these last two Christmas seasons. Before we open our gifts my husband reads Luke 2, we sing, play instruments, and we pray together. But the tradition that has brought the most comfort is that of sharing our personal salvation testimonies. Each person who has experienced the second birth shares their testimony starting from the youngest to the oldest. We all remember well hearing that Chad was saved as a young adolescent boy, and Courtney at the very young age of four asked Christ to be her Savior on one snowy day. For this reason we sorrow but not without hope and this brings heavenly peace to Chad and Courtney and to us as we await a heavenly reunion.
We will shed tears today as we reflect on our loss, but we are experiencing a “peace that passes all understanding” because Christ the Savior is born, and we know that Chad, Courtney, and Baby Girl Phelps are experiencing Heavenly Peace.
Written by Linda Phelps. Mother of Chad and Grandmother of Chase.