I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
Once upon on time, sixteen years ago today, plus nine months but really only seven
It was then, Gabriel, you first made known your presence.
But we must go back before that—back, back, back.
Because it was ten years before these last sixteen years
Twenty-six years ago, it was when dad and I became one.
For most of our first ten years (big brother came by plane after nine)
We hoped and prayed and tried
How hard we hoped and prayed and tried
And too much, I think, I cried.
Books and experts came and went and doctors poked around inside
Every attempt and method failed and empty wombs like stomachs ache
I was so so hungry but it was not your time.
God’s kids run the race and walk by faith and trust his promises are true
That ache is not waste, that trials produce, that no good thing does he withhold
And all those who wait on the Lord will be renewed.
We stopped the doctors, ceased our striving and pressed and prayed right through
Until one August Aunt Char and I decided the Whistlestop is what we’d run.
Then came October and an early snow
Still we plowed six hours north to run that 26.2—
We two ran, with a third I didn’t know, and finished in four hours smooth.
At home, coffee tasted strange and this night owl was ready for bed by seven
So I took a test I’d failed two dozen times
But this time the stripes said YES
Your frame was a full eight-weeks old
But that crisp autumn morning I knew about you.
I pinch myself tonight thinking how your name rings true—
You are God’s YES to thousands, thousands, of prayers for love’s fruit
“STRENGTH” and “HEARD” of God, you sons, and so good we asked for more.
But the LORD, for righteous reasons He only knows
Never again opened that door.
You are no angel, but still a messenger to tell
That God alone sets times and seasons and even our days
To show again that no good thing does He withhold
And that His ways are not our ways.
It’s been 16 years since I first laid eyes on that bright-eyed, long-lashed baby
But I never will forget the truth that heaven sent in you
That it’s when we cease striving we really know the strength and goodness of God
That is the good news you brought us, Gabriel, our gift and messenger of God.
Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 113:5-6, 9 (ESV)