In memory of precious baby Colsen, heavens eternal and remarkable gain…
“Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And He said to him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” – Luke 23:42-43
First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for all your prayers for the health, healing, and restored life of precious baby Colsen. And even though I regret to tell you he has gone to live with Jesus in paradise, I want to reassure you that God heard each and every one of your beautiful pleas.
“’For I know the plans I have for you’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’” – Jeremiah 29:11-12
I believe with all my heart that the only time God doesn’t answer our prayers in situations like these, is when He has something far bigger, better… and grander in mind for us. And for baby Colsen yesterday, that magnanimous something meant leaving this earth (and all of us) behind, to go into the full glory of our Lord and Savior.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” – Ephesians 3:20
Even though, in my mind, I know all of this is true… my wounded heart has been struggling over the last couple of days, just as I imagine many of yours have been too….
“My eyes are worn out from weeping;
I am churning within.
My heart is poured out in grief
because of the destruction of my dear people,
because infants and nursing babies faint
in the streets of the city.” – Lamentations 2:11
And, if I’m being totally honest, there have been moments (in my unquestionable human weakness) that I couldn’t help from asking Him… “Why?” Even though I know the Bible tells us of the reality of God’s “hidden things”; that is, the vast depths of Him and His purposes that we are not meant to understand (but are to continue to trust Him with all our might anyway), my troubled heart begged anyway… for something as small as a little seed of understanding or as gigantic as a glimpse into the throne room of God.
“The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of this law.” – Deuteronomy 29:29
And do you want to know something wonderfully outrageous? God, in all His perfect love and graciousness, answered me.
Yesterday afternoon I was at our local Co-op, and in a moment that is hard to explain, the Spirit suddenly opened my eyes. I stopped. And I looked around at all the bustling… at all the faces… many, many faces that were creased by age, brows that were marked by time and burden, hair that was faded and white, and backs that were once straight, now bent. And then the Spirit asked me a very clear and pointed question: “Are they (the ones who have lived the longest in our troubled world), the most fortunate ones?”
And in that split second, while holding a lunch tray in my hands, my remarkable realization (that was as clear as the air miraculously filling my lungs) was absolute. And my answer, my friends, was “No.”
When I heard the news about baby Colsen’s passing late last night, I was instantly reminded of that very moment. And again, the astounding truth flooded over me that he has been saved… twice.
His beautiful soul will never have to experience the fear of a vaccination, or of an armed gunman invading his school. Baby Col will never know the tormented pain of having his heart crushed by the loss of a loved one. He will never have to suffer any kind of physical acute or chronic pain. He will never have to experience the flu, cancer, or any type of disease... or the slow physical decay that comes with age (or watch someone he loves suffer through any of the same). His perfect eyes will never witness racism, or hate crimes, or any of the brokenness that can be seen any night of the week on the news. And his heart will never feel sadness, rejection, or anger… but instead, only perfect love for all of eternity.
As hard as it is for us to lose him, my friends, we must know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that baby Colsen has been shown unfathomable favor. For, because of the grace and might of God and His son Jesus, his battle was won for him before he experienced any of the casualties of war that come with this life.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” – Ephesians 6:12-18
It’s times like this, brothers and sisters, when we must cast our eyes fully on God, so we are innately aware of the (sometimes hard to see but) greater truth. And that truth is, we are spiritual people living in a physical world. This world is not our home. And our souls only purpose in the journey of our lives… is to be reunited with our Creator, and to help others to do the same.
But even knowing all this, it’s still so easy to get caught up in life, choosing to focus on all the wonderful things, so that we are often times tricked into thinking that this life is the prize. But God wants us all to remember in times of loss (and everyday), that He is the only prize… the ultimate gift, of which there could be no earthly comparison.
So friends, even though our souls are hurting and overwhelmed by a great earthly void today, we can take heart knowing that sweet baby Colsen has been lifted up by love, held tightly by the perfect hands of Jesus, and given back into the loving arms of his joyous mother, Alexis Chatham-Teel, whose heaven just got even more unimaginably perfect.
“Father, God… we praise You for that.”
But dearest prayer warriors, our work here is not yet finished. I ask you to continue to lift up the Chatham/Teel family, friends… and all those Alexis and Colsen have left behind; including Chad (husband/father), Camden (son/brother), Teresa (mother/grandmother), and Mark Chatham (brother/uncle), and so many more…
Beloveds, I ask you to pray to God to give them the strength to endure through this time… even to the end of this age, when the sun will never set again and the Son will finally reign forever. Oh, what a magnificent day that will certainly be for all of us…
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39