Ever since our first son was growing (Women are amazing! How do they do that?!), I’ve had it in my mind that childbirth is an act of war against death.
Life vs. death. Life wins.
Let me introduce to you the newest aggressor against death: Silas Anax Banker. His very existence and presence is a statement to the forces of death and destruction that Life has not lost its power. Born during a time where the world is in turmoil. When death, war and disease are flexing their muscles this seemingly weak child lets out his war-cry, “I’m here!”
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. -Acts 16:25-26
Silas, a leader of the early church who was imprisoned with the Apostle Paul, is often depicted holding broken chains. Silas is a powerful name, declaring freedom and life in the face of shackles and death-sentences.
I might as well admit it. I’m a crier. It’s on video anyway, so there’s no use in denying it. As soon as little Silas let out that first screech the tears flowed unhindered. Child birth is an amazing thing. It’s also a scary thing.
Silas’ birth was quick, but not without complication. Where Isaac’s labor dragged on for 68hrs, Silas’ only took 5hrs from beginning to end. It happened so quickly that we didn’t have a chance to get Michelle into the birthing tub. “Baby’s coming!” No time. Get the midwives up here, quick!
We were excited. Baby was on the way…
Then something happened. The atmosphere changed. Our midwives suddenly switched to business mode. Something was wrong. Fear was begging for a hearing.
Silas was stuck. His head was out, why wasn’t the rest of him following? I saw our midwife unwrap the umbilical cord from his neck (it was actually wrapped around him three times). He was still stuck. Things started happening fast. They flipped Michelle onto her hands and knees. Something was wrong. Our midwives were calm, but acting quick. (click here to read about why he was stuck)
Then, he was out. We didn’t know he was a he yet, but there he was! He was grey and not moving. Most people don’t realize how inhuman a newborn can look in those first few moments. He’s not breathing. He looks limp. He’s okay, right? Don’t let the scary thoughts in.
I had been prepped, so I knew that it could take a few seconds to a minute before the child takes its first breath. The perception of time becomes erratic in situations like that. You have no idea how fast or slow things are happening.
“Talk to your baby.” The midwife says as she picks him up and starts vigorously rubbing his back.
“Baby! You made it! You’re here! Let it out little one. Go ahead. Cry.”
Then it happened. It was a piercing, high-pitched screech that made everything okay in the world. Tears.
Silas means “of the forest.”
Anax is an archaic greek term meaning, “king.”
Anax is a reminder of is identity. His value is in his blood. It’s unearned. He was created with unlimited, enduring worth. He is acceptable because he is in the image of the Great King.
Welcome Silas Anax. You’re amazing and there is an amazing future ahead of you.
At 6:30am Saturday morning on Jan 12, 2013 Isaac Hawk Banker was born into the world. 7lbs 12oz of God-given blessing. 21 inches long.
God promised Abraham and Sarah a child. Abraham tried to fulfill God’s promise on His behalf, through his own human effort. The result of that attempt is symbolic of religion’s attempt at earning our way to God. God alone fulfills His promises.
The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise. These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. Galatians 4:23-24
God spoke to me over a year ago about having a child for us even though we had been trying on our own effort to get pregnant for two and a half years. Today God fulfilled what he had spoken to me. Even though I was never fully convinced that I had actually heard God (until we found out we were, indeed, pregnant), I told God that I believe Him. I doubted my ability to hear His voice, but didn’t necessarily doubt Him. I’m convinced that faith doesn’t mean we have to be convinced about our ability to follow Him (i.e. do everything right), but instead have faith in His faithfulness and take Him at His word. So, even though I doubted, my doubt was in myself and He remained faithful to what He was telling me. Faith means trusting God to be faithful to His word. Faith doesn’t mean conjuring up a self-imposed belief that requires unquestioning loyalty to said belief in the face of all opposing facts. Faith is relational.
Isaac was the name of Abraham’s child of promise whom God provided supernaturally in His timing. Our own Isaac is also our little child of promise that God fulfilled in His timing. Our pregnancy was impressed on our hearts months in advance and confirmed by a prophetic word just days before we found out about the pregnancy. Isaac is a child of promise.
When going through Prayer Resolution prayer-counseling, God had broken the power of a lie in my life that was in regard to my identity and we had asked God for a truth to replace the lie. The picture that I ended up getting was of a hawk. God used this imagery to show me who I am and who I am not.
My dad was always really good at spotting hawks on street lights and in trees as we drove around when I was young. I seemed to have inherited his special skill. Every time I see a hawk I am reminded that God spoke to me and is concerned about my identity being properly founded.
I like seeing hawks in the middle of the city. They don’t seem like they fit here. Something about the wild side of nature thriving in the middle of our fake concrete jungles. A reminder of the God-created way in the face of our man-created “prosperity.”
I want little Isaac to know that His identity has been determined and it has nothing to do with the world that surrounds him. He is valuable and full of worth right now, today, before he has ever had a chance to do anything good or bad and before anyone else can do anything good or bad to him. He is who he is and that’s all he is ever supposed to be.
We are praying that someday little Isaac will choose to enter into another family. His heavenly Father is the one who created this little one with so much value and worth and we are all looking forward to and longing for the day when this child chooses on his own to enter into intimacy with God Himself through faith in Jesus Christ (not human effort). And, if He chooses otherwise, his value and worth haven’t changed a bit.
That’s our last name. It only makes sense.