As I write this morning, there is sadness mixed with so much thankfulness at all God has done in Nathan and I over the past 4 years. I’m so thankful that I can be sad, cry, and miss my son without going to the dark depths of depression that I once got sucked into the moment I let myself “go there.” God has redeemed, and is redeeming, all that the enemy has stolen. The fullness of this redemption continues to be unveiled as we choose to live one day at a time, trusting in his faithfulness, goodness, and steadfast love.
Four years ago, on Palm Sunday 2006 (his birthday is actually April 9), Hosea Nathan Oates came into the world at 1:09 am. Palm Sunday is the day when they said “Hosanna, Hosanna,” i.e. “Come save! Come save!” Yeshua, or Jesus, means “Salvation” and so does Hosea.
Over the past 2 years especially, God has began to take us on an incredible journey of discovering who He is at a deeper level. This word, “Salvation” has come to mean more then just “Get out of hell free.” Salvation in Greek is Sozo, which means “Saved, healed, and delivered.” When Christ died, he purchased so much more than forgiveness of sins for us! The whole package is forgiveness and salvation from our sins, healing for our bodies, and deliverance from evil-“sozo.”
So today, I reflect on all that I receive in my Savior’s salvation and the numerous specific instances where his “sozo” has been so evident, times where I thought I would not make it and could not go on with the pain that was in my heart. He is Savior, Healer, and Deliverer!
I love how God works in seeming paradoxes. While I am not thankful for how the enemy has stolen from us, I am thankful that Hosea’s death has been a catalyst for so much life. How can this be? Well, because we do not serve a God who is the God of the dead. He is the God of the living. Matthew 22:32 says, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead.” God said he was the God of those three men long after the has passed away. And is didn’t say “I WAS there God.” No, he IS there God because they are very much alive, even today. One day we will see them all! So my son is not dead. He is very much alive and always has been. It’s not “I loved my son, but I love my son.” He is alive!
As a mom and dad, we will always ache for our son–he is a piece of our flesh and blood. I’m reminded daily as I watch my children grow that there is a “gap” between Eden and Asher where Hosea’s little head should be. So I have moments where I cry and let out the sadness, and then I resolve all over again to trust.
And to choose to remember this (and it IS a choice….not easy, but possible by His grace): Easter is all about the resurrection of Jesus. Because of this wonderful gift of resurrection life, we do not mourn as the world mourns. Because He lives, Hosea lives. Thank you Lord.