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I Was Wrong: Confessions of an Ultrasound Junkie

June 20th, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 19: 8 (NLT)

8 The commandments of the Lord are right,
      bringing joy to the heart.
   The commands of the Lord are clear,
      giving insight for living.

 

Stop and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

I need to get some things off of my chest.  Most of you who know me know that very soon my life will be completely transformed by the arrival of my first child: Sadie.  What you may not know is that at one time, I was solidly confident (along with my wife and our doctor) that my daughter was in fact, a son.  Call it a hunch.  Call it intuition.  Call it . . . well, unwise.

It mattered not to us.  Boy?  Girl?  All we prayed for was a very healthy baby.  However, our “feelings” were that a boy was on his way to our house.  We were so inclined to this opinion that Laura even purchased some boy baby bedding on clearance . . . just in case.  I stood poised with blue paint buckets, miniature golf clubs, and an array of junior Tennessee football jerseys– waiting for the “son of masculinity” to grace us with his manly presence.

One word singlehandedly changed the course of my thinking.  One word derailed my premature dreams of adolescent shaving lessons and NFL championships.  One word: ultrasound.  

There we sat, Laura and I, staring at the screen as the technician began to probe for confirmation.  Then, it happened!  “Well, she’s definitely a girl.”   A long, awkward silence settled in like morning fog in the Smokies.  Crickets chirped in the background.  The second hand on the clock began to go backwards.  Laura looked at me in amazement and I was forced to utter the dreaded words that so seemingly seldom pass over the threshold of my lips: “I was . . . (gulp) . . . wrong?”

Being certain about something is one thing; being right about it is something else altogether.  If I were to put the first part of Psalm 19: 8 in my own words, it would read something like this: “When God speaks, it’s always right!”  Well duh, right?  Sure, we may understand this concept in theory, but rarely does it cause us to feel the emotion of the next part of the verse: joy.

If God is always right, that means someone else is probably wrong.  That someone is usually me.  God’s Word is the ultrasound that peers into the very core of who we are, showing us the true nature of our condition.  In other words, He’s right every time.

That’s the center of the Christian faith, though you wouldn’t know it sometimes.  We don’t want to be wrong and often when we realize that we are, joy is not the first expression that makes its way into our hearts.  We pout and run and stumble and then pout some more– all because we so desperately want to be right.  But when we humble ourselves and acknowledge that what God speaks is the best– that it is literally the right way, independent of our feelings or our intuitions– then we can stop mourning our “wrongness” and start rejoicing in His “rightness.”  

I was glad that I found out the truth that day in the examination room.  Otherwise, I would have spent nine months preparing for the wrong little person to enter my house.  Did it surprise me?  Absolutely.  Did I mourn the pre-purchased boy bedding?  Indeed.  But did joy flood my heart when I considered how precious my little princess was to me?  If I could verbalize my happiness, I would.

His Word is right.  The next part of the verse says that it is also “clear.”  That fateful day at the doctor’s office, I viewed scribbly lines across a screen that supposedly were the outlines of my child’s little body.  In all honestly, at first glance I might as well have been trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics.  That may be how you feel when you open up the Bible to read.  But Psalm 19 says that His Word is clear?  Hmmm, how is that possible?

The difference-maker for me was the Ultrasound technician.  She began to point out– literally to clear up– what we were seeing on the screen.  At that moment, suddenly the scribbly lines transformed into my baby!  It was incredible.  

In our lives, we also need a “technician” to help us understand what we are seeing in God’s Word.  That person is the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus said in John 14:26, the Holy Spirit “will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”  In other words, it will make a lot more sense when He opens up your understanding, thus giving you the “insight for living (Psalm 19: 8b)” that you need to walk in “right” way.

So take it from a man of chronic “wrongness,” it’s not so bad.  In fact, when God’s right, I’m happy.  I don’t want to miss any little treasures that are sleeping just below the surface. 

 

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