With each pregnancy, I have prayed for protection over my baby…safety in delivery…and that God would bless us with a healthy child. In addition to that, I have prayed that God would use each of my little ones to bring others to Him. From the deepest part of my heart I have prayed that God would use my children to impact the world for Jesus – whatever that might look like. I know what a scary prayer this is. It’s a little bit like praying for patience…You want to be a patient person, but you don’t want to ever have your patience tested. Or at least I don’t anyway. As I have prayed health and safety and protection over my children, I have had in my head exactly what that should look like – no illnesses, no accidents, no hardships.
After recently being told that our precious daughter has Down’s Syndrome, my first words to the doctor were “We know that God is good, and He does not make mistakes.” As a mama whose heart had just received such devastating news, I have to say that it was not easy to say those words, but I know that they are true.
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How can God be good when we’ve just been handed such a life-altering diagnosis?
How can God be good when everything we’ve ever wanted for our daughter now seems to be gone?
How can God be good when we consider all of the obstacles that might be facing our little one?
How can God be good when our pain is so deep…and the nights seem so dark?
Yes, friends, we are shattered…our nights are long right now…our hurt is like nothing we have ever known…it doesn’t feel like the tears are ever going to stop…but I can tell you without a doubt that God is good. He is holding us right now. In the midst of our heartbreak, we sense His presence in a way we have never known and we are thankful…
…and through all of this, we are right where the Creator wants us to be…clinging to Him…asking Him to be our strength because we are so overcome with weakness right now that at times it seems physically impossible to stand.
Which has me thinking…
…while we as parents are naturally going to ask our Creator to grant our families good health and safety and protection…I can’t help but consider the fact that God’s response to these prayers may not always be exactly what we want.
Our earthly perspective is so skewed. We struggle to see beyond the here and now. It is impossible for us to understand the mind of God – especially when His plans include something that seems so difficult to face…but we can trust His heart. I know that to be true. I am living in that right now.
I think of a local pastor and his wife who – last summer – lost both of their children in a car wreck … God didn’t keep their babies safe.
I think of the Christians all around the world who have given their lives for the Gospel…God didn’t keep them safe.
I think of the family we know who’s little one is battling cancer…God didn’t keep their little one safe.
I think of our friends who have lost babies before they ever had the chance to hold them…God didn’t keep their little ones safe.
….but maybe God wants us to let go of our definition of safety and release our plans to Him so we are able to accept whatever He might have for us…Maybe he wants us to cast aside our safe faith to embrace a more radical Gospel…one that is way more dangerous…one that might even include illness, an accident, or some other kind of hardship.
God never promised us good health, safety, protection, prosperity, etc.
He actually promised that in this world, we would have trials and tribulations…
…but then He followed up that life-altering news with an incredible promise that He has overcome the world.
From our earthly perspective, we would give anything to not be walking through such a difficult time right now. God has not kept our little girl safe or protected from something we would most definitely not have chosen for her, but we are trusting that through this, He will answer the deepest desire of our heart: that He would use her life to impact the world for Jesus.
We are relying on the strength of our good, good Father and asking Him to empower us as we walk in His plan for our family…a plan that most definitely does not look like the healthy, safe, and protected one we would have chosen.