Prayer Over Two Sons
On November 1, 2016, members of our church, Stephen and Tierra Milburn welcomed their fourth child Daniel into this world. Daniel Lee Milburn weighted 7lbs 15oz at 19 inches long! We're praising God with our brother and sister and their whole family. 

Personally and as a pastor I was very much moved by the day Daniel was born. First of all, they could not have chosen a better name! Daniel means, "God is my judge." I am thankful that this little boy has been born into a family that will teach him the Gospel. He will grow up knowing that should he put his faith in Jesus that God will judge him righteous based on His own Son's work on the Cross. 

But I was also moved by being invited by Stephen and Tierra to pray with them and many members from their Community Group. I was moved as we gathered around just before Tierra was taken in to give birth to Daniel, and we just praised God for this little boy. But I was also moved as to how this group of brothers and sisters leaned into the pain of loss that Stephen and Tierra suffered just over a year ago. This group was not superficial or afraid to walk with their brother and sister through both the mountain tops of faith or the valley of the shadow of death. 

You see, just over a year ago, Stephen and Tierra suffered the loss of their first born infant son, Stephen Jr. I will never forget the call that I received that day when I heard Stephen Jr.'s daddy on the other end of the phone. As a church, we were all excited to meet this little boy and I thought the call was to share a birth announcement. It wasn't as I had hoped. Stephen had suddenly and unexpectedly died during delivery. 

We went to the hospital that day where we should have been celebrating life but instead we committed Stephen Jr. to our Heavenly Father. There were no words then just as they fall short now. This was a hard day to understand. Over the coming days, weeks and months I watched as the church surrounded our brother and sister and their family and wept with them. 

On this great day, November 1, 2016 we continued to weep but our sadness was mixed with overwhelming joy. This overwhelming joy can only come not because one child is forgotten through the birth of another - that will never happen. But rather we had overwhelming joy because one day, these brothers will know one another when Jesus makes all things new. 

We all prayed together, as we gathered with the Milburns on the day that Daniel would be born, In these prayers I heard the Gospel. The Gospel doesn't just allow us to praise God for the present. The Gospel gives us hope for the future. In these prayers I heard not just a longing for the immediate future of meeting Daniel but also the eternal future of meeting Stephen Jr. These were not superficial prayers because we do not worship a superficial God. We worship a God who's heart breaks with our heart and who's laughter echoes in the heavens with our laughter. 

Daniel, we welcome you into this world and into this church. We are thankful for you and the joy you have already brought to so many people. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 
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