The Baby Hackman Announcement!
Sunday was such moment of genuine celebration for Larry and me! Thank you for so exuberantly praising God with us for the gift of our miraculous pregnancy. Our sincere prayer leading up to the announcement was that it would be an encouragement to the church to see how God does hear and answer prayer, even giving us at times the deepest desires of our hearts.
Three months ago you created a prayer chain of desperate prayers to God— prayers answered on green slips and on red those that you are still crying out. God has answered our red slip prayer asking for a child. Yet my prayers in the last few weeks have remained focused on those who still have red slip requests— for miraculous changes in health, for spiritual transformation in family members, for work and law suits and marriages.
I became convinced that we not only needed to announce our pregnancy but to encourage the congregation. Between first and second services I told Larry, “I’m going to preach next service.” Larry said, “What do you mean?” I said, “I’m ready to testify to God’s goodness and his love. I don’t want to just announce, I want to call people to encouragement and hope and belief that God answers prayer.”
If you were there at 10:47, you know how that turned out. Satan heard what I said and tried to steal my voice. I choked and sputtered and had to leave the chancel to try to regain the ability to speak. But I would not be silenced because I knew that the encouragement was coming from God.
But to even speak Sunday was a battle. The battle is real— a battle to believe and trust God versus an enemy that seeks to destroy our hope, discourage us, and turn us away from God. Pastor Mark emphasized on Sunday that Jesus’ words to his discouraged people were: “For your sake I am glad that I was not there [when Lazarus died] so that you may believe” (John 11:14); “I am the resurrection and the life… Do you believe this?” (John 11:25, 26); “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).
For a solid four years my soul fought the battle to believe and to trust that God is good, that hears me, and that he loves me. And I tell you, that in my final surrender to believe that he is good, that he hears me and that he loves me, the Holy Spirit filled me with the truth of this. And in the obedience of begging you to believe that with me last December, we are now seeing the glory of God.
Oh discouraged hearts, weary people, those tired of asking, those with hopes destroyed and turning away from God, see the battle for what it really is: a battle. And see Jesus for who He is: the resurrection and the life. Believe with us. Celebrate with us. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy and peace in believing.