At that time in my life, I was a pastor - and that was why I was looking into her eyes.
There were tears in her eyes and she was afraid. Her husband respected me and so could express his fears. I had to squelch mine inside. When I got a call about the emergency, I had looked to the heavens and trusted God as we drove to the hospital.
We walked into the crowded ward and seeing many dead babies all around did nothing to help my faith, but I filled my heart with scripture and calmed the couple.
Then I saw the baby.
I have always had a mega soft spot for kids, but this boy was different. He was a few days old and he was a fighter and I loved him for it! His lungs heaved as he fought for air, his eyes darted around, looking slightly glazed - or maybe it was my eyes getting misty. He was a few days old but something had gone wrong somewhere and he was fighting to stay alive. His mum burst into tears, but I re-assured her, laid my hands on the child, and forced faith to well up on my inside. I had prayed for people and seen them get better, seen circumstances turn around and that conviction gave me strength as I projected my faith onto the child.
I don't think I had said a more fervent prayer and after that I could turn to his mom and say calmly "Don't worry. It WILL be alright".
It was alright.
I got a call the next day at work. The baby was dead - gone to be with the Lord before me, before his parents, in a place way better than earth's best. His mom?
She was devastated.
My role meant I took the news calmly, said what I felt I was supposed to and project all the strength I could to the caller.
Then I went to the toilet and cried.
The walk with God means that doors will open and the supernatural will be displayed. Prosperity becomes a birthright and by Christ's stripes, we can claim a healing. But Hebrews 11 cited as the popular faith chapter shows us a valid key in the walk with God. It talks about those who did 'great' things, BUT also talks about those who were sawn asunder, or in modern-day English, CUT in two. Some were stoned, beaten, became vagabonds, were poor and destitute because of their faith in God. Like marriage, the God journey is for better for worse and sometimes, the only thing that can be held onto is TRUST in the goodness and plan of God.
When John the Baptist was cast in prison and was going to be beheaded, he sent his disciples to Jesus to relay a message."Are you the one or do we wait for another Saviour?" I bet the naive and theological might want to squabble about his 'irreverence' or any such nonsense many are able to conjure, but John spoke genuinely as a man. He was afraid. Much later, Jesus as a man, was afraid and thought about the possibility of not going to the cross.
But back to the story.
Jesus performed miracles for the disciples of John and sent the message back to him "Blessed is the man who is not offended with me"
Another translation says "Blessed is the man who does not fall away because of me" (Luke 7:23)
We live in a world where the path of least resistance is pursued. We even think that walking with God or getting directions from God means that we enjoy ease.
Truth is, 'positive' outcomes are not proof that one heard from God about a direction to be taken.
Truth is, sickness and death are sometimes not the result of sin, lack of faith or hidden compromise.
Truth is, all the 'heroes' of the Bible walked a lonely road at so many points in their lives.
Truth is, many times, it is when you start to follow God that life gets complicated because he has to wean you off certain 'things' - or most times, NOBODY knows why it gets complex.
I do not advocate or endorse denominations, a set of theological rules, 'tried-and-tested' techniques or any such stuff. They might be helpful and there are enough folks advocating these. However, I advocate knowing Christ and letting him lead you as only He can. How he does that is up to him. It's his job to build His church.
But if the road gets rough, and brethren do not understand, or your loved ones leave, and your finances crumble, or maybe your baby dies or whatever tough scenario you MAY face, my friend, know this.
GOD doesn't love you any less.
Perhaps, I will sit with you in silence, because that may be all you need. And also, because I do not have all the answers. But somewhere in the midst of your pain, when you think about God, know that he holds you and never allows what you cannot handle to come your way.
And like he said "Blessed is the man who is not offended with me"
Strength and Honour, friend...