Some years ago I needed a few senior level courses to complete my college degree. I decided to enroll in a nursing course titled “Death and Dying”. Since I am squeamish when it comes to blood and guts situations, I had little insight or knowledge concerning the biology or science of death and dying.
During one class we looked at the beginning and end of life, the mystery of birth and death, and the marvel of human life. When I walked out of that particular class, I realized life is truly a gift, and human life is God’s marvelous work, again and again, creating and sustaining humankind “in His image.”
God created humankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27, NET
- Life is a gift of God. Inconvenient babies, out-of-season babies, special-needs babies, have proven time and again to be the greatest joy of a mother or father, biological or adopted. Those of us who have had inconvenient babies born into our families cannot imagine life without them. Life is a gift, beginning when God gives us life and extending throughout our lifetimes. When we become feeble, disabled, weak, frail, lose our memories or our continence, even then, life is a gift. We may think we are a burden to our families or to society, but we are never a burden to God. If we are the caregivers, we may feel overwhelmed and resentful, but when we let God help us, we discover His gracious promises and spiritual gifts are lavished into our hearts and lives.
- God doesn’t make mistakes. Who can fathom God’s plans to bless us? Will there be problems? Probably. Will trusting God with the outcome cost time, money, and change our plans? Most likely. But no one knows better than the Lord what He is planning to do in a life, the life of a new baby, the life a suffering adult, the life of the elderly. I don’t understand suffering, but God doesn’t make mistakes. A baby is never an accident. Long life is never an accident. God doesn’t make mistakes, and He knows what our life will hold before we live it, whether it is a life of joy or sorrow, or a life of heath or suffering.
- Humanity is selfish. Given freedom to act as we want, to do as we want, except as we allow Christ to change our hearts, our decisions are often made giving priority to our convenience and our desires. But what about those pregnancies that come with a devastating experience, such as rape, the sexual abuse of a child, or endangering the life of the mother? What about extreme pain, or unbearable disabilities, causing such suffering that we cannot bear to go on? What if we lose our ability to think, to communicate, are trapped in Alzheimer’s or dementia that takes away our knowledge of ourselves and others? These are real situations that need God’s divine wisdom and strength. He is indeed loving and gracious, and cares for us in our times of greatest need.
- God has a plan for us. He knew us before He formed us. He knew what we would face. We do not know what joys lie ahead, or how he might shape us or the people we love, to influence others, to be more like Christ, to be ready to walk into the arms of God, living through the crucible we call life, fulfilling the plan God has designed for them and us. Is there anyone on earth who knows us as intimately as the God who created us and gave us life? God’s plan comes out of His everlasting love for us. It is a plan we can trust.
Certainly you made my mind and heart; you wove me together in my mother’s womb. I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing. You knew me thoroughly; my bones were not hidden from you, when I was made in secret and sewed together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb. All the days ordained for me
were recorded in your scroll before one of them came into existence. Psalm 139:13-165.
We cannot imagine the design God has for a life. We may see sustaining a life as the burden it is at that moment. We worry about the responsibility of raising a child, the cost, the change it makes in our life plans, the embarrassment or what others might think. We watch a child, our parent or a friend suffer. We grieve when the person we know no longer seems to exist, or to know us. We have many practical considerations. Meanwhile, God is looking on the situation, knowing all life is His gift. He has a plan, and we can trust His plan, not only for the baby in the womb, but for the entirety of our lives.