Many nights of my sister Hannah’s short life included a scene like the one above. I’d often volunteer to sit with her during the wee hours of the morning so that my parents could get some sleep. I’d hold her close and sing to her as we rocked back and forth in the darkness of our living room.
I remember doing so on a particular night just before she died. She had a cough and every spasm placed tremendous strain on her weakening heart. Her tiny body shuddered as she fought for every breath. It was a battle my baby bear was slowly losing and I knew it. I cried. A more accurate description might be that I “lost it.” I don’t know that I have ever felt such grief as I did then. I recall pleading for God to help her breathe. Over and over, with each little breath asking Him to give her life.
As I cried and prayed a deep revelation came to my heart: He gives life. From the beginning to the end of our days here, He is faithful to sustain His creation for every ordained beat of our hearts. Not for a moment do we exist in this world apart from His goodness and power that hold all things together. He was God when He gave Hannah her first breath and He would be God when He ceased giving it. He gives and He takes away.
Eight years later, I know that it’s true. He gives, He takes away. I don’t always understand but I know that He is sovereign. Today, on the anniversary of her death, it’s enough for my heart.