Last week I received prayer concerns for several babies who had been born too early. A clergy friend asked for prayer for her granddaughter, who was born by emergency C-section at 33 weeks. A church member asked for prayer for a cousin’s baby, who was born weighing just over five pounds and requires surgery. Seeing pictures of newborns fully hooked up in the neonatal intensive care unit brought back memories of my twin grandchildren, who spent the first two weeks of their lives in a NICU. Today, they are thriving, healthy, ORNERY four-year-olds and I pray that every baby on our prayer list ends up just like them. Please Lord, make it so!
I had just finished praying for these babies when I read today’s lectionary passage from the book of Psalms. Look for David’s reference to babies:
Psalm 8 (New King James Version)
O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, God has ordained strength. What a wonderful concept! Can you imagine these tiny babies singing praises to God as they receive the tender care and ministrations of well-trained intensive care nurses and doctors? The beauty of this passage takes my breath away. As they lie there with their eyes taped shut, ventilators helping them breath, feeding tubes down their noses providing sustenance, and multiple monitors strapped to their little chests, they are busy singing praises to their God as they wait. Oh, my, yes!
David continues his own words of praise as he contemplates God’s creation:
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
As we wait through life’s trials and tribulations, we can sing praises to God regardless of the situation, hardship, challenge, or threat that we face. We are ordained with strength! God has made us just a little lower than the angels. All life is precious in God’s sight, and we are crowned with glory and honor.
This undeserved status is a gift from the One who told the stars and the moon where to sit. We are so loved by God.
6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.
And with this crowning of glory comes responsibility for the works of God’s hand. We must care for God’s creatures. We must care for God’s earth. We must do everything we can to ensure that the tiny babies have clean air, unpolluted seas, and a healthy planet to raise their own babies. It is our job to take care of the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. How are we doing?
How will you respond to this today? Will you pray for the tiny babies? Will you change your habits to ensure a healthy world? Will you support your local SPCA?
God’s name is over all of the earth, from the smallest baby to the biggest whale in the sea. May all life rise up and sing praises to his name!
9 O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!