Redemption— a symbol of life.
Our first three children all slept in a Moses basket when they were babies. But not our fourth child, Nora.
After Zoe passed away at three months old while napping in a Moses basket at her babysitter’s house, I struggled to even look at them. I knew from the autopsy results of SIDS that it had nothing to do with the basket, but even still, the sight of one felt nauseating.
A few weeks after Zoe’s celebration of life service, we received a phone call that we could pick up a few things at the funeral home— the shirt she had on and the Moses basket she had been napping in when she passed. I remember asking about the white blanket she had with her that day, too, but she just said no. I didn’t ask. We let them know that we wanted the shirt but not the Moses basket; we asked them to get rid of it for us.
So often, when I pictured that day that Zoe went to Heaven, I had a picture of Jesus leaning over the basket and lifting her out, then holding her close to his chest as they left. That visual was always my reminder that it was her time. Her days were known even before she was born, and that day had arrived. Although much too early for us, just on time for His plan for her life.
Years later, and many Moses baskets avoided later, I saw this image and a powerful message on surrender that hit me in a powerful way.
“There comes a time – many times, actually – in the lives of our children where we have to put the basket in the water. We have to let go and trust the plan of the Father. The world is a scary place— a place where we fear our children could drown.
But we must remember that we have to let go so that God can draw them from the waters for His great purpose. He has called us to be their parents, but they were His first.
My friend, whatever water you may be getting ready to put your basket into – remember that you have to put them in the water for God to draw them out and place them into His perfect plan.
Though you might not be physically present with your child as much during the next phase of life, you can always petition the heart of the Father on their behalf.”
(Putting the Basket in the Water: Trusting God in the Next Phase of Your Child’s Life)
Moses’s mother, Jochebed, protected her son for his first three months of life. Three months old, just like our Zoe. She knew that the time had come that she could no longer hide him. So she built a basket, placed Moses inside, and launched him into his next season of life. God had been preparing her for this moment while she prepared Moses physically by nursing him and helping him grow.
Oftentimes, the plan of the Father can only be drawn out of the water if it is first surrendered.
I can imagine this was definitely not her Plan A for her son’s life. I would imagine that Plan A had her raising him. However, God’s perfect plan for Moses was for his mother to surrender to God’s plan for his life and not her own. Oftentimes, the plan of the Father can only be drawn out of the water if it is first surrendered.
Jochebed had to surrender her son to his Heavenly Father’s plan for his life. I had to surrender my daughter to her Heavenly Father’s plan for her life.
For many years, the picture of a Moses basket felt like death to me. The death of my daughter, my dreams for her, my plans for her as a part of our family here on Earth, but I believe God brought this image back years later to redeem it. Redeem it as a symbol of Life— life launched into His purpose, life surrendered to His plan.
I challenge you to reflect with me on what God is calling you to surrender. (Your own plan for your life, your spouse, a dream, a disappointment, your children)
What would it look like for you to surrender that to God? Who can you ask to walk with you in that act of surrender?
Mackenzie Rollins is the founder and executive director of Hope Family Care. She is passionate about helping others find purpose in their pain and hope amid their darkest days. For more information about Hope Family Care and to hear more from Mackenzie, you can visit their website, https://hopefamilycareministries.org/, or follow on instagram, @hopefamilycareministries