Tuesday, April 8, 2008

God will provide for our children

I recently received a newsletter from Open Doors Counselling and Educational Services. This service offers pregnancy and post-abortion counselling. The newsletter included the story of “Geoff” and “Lyn” (the names had been changed), who discovered they were expecting triplets. Here is their story.

Initially they were overjoyed as they had waited a long time for a baby in their lives. However, as the pregnancy proceeded and Lyn battled morning sickness, she became overcome with anxiety about trying to manage 3 babies at once. Family supports were few as all family members were interstate. In her debilitated state she became quite distressed. Initially, Geoff tried to encourage Lyn to take it one step at a time. However, she became even more distraught.

Geoff just didn’t know what to do to relieve Lyn’s distress and then he started to panic as well. He felt totally at a loss and suggested that they seek the opinion of their doctor, hoping that he would be able to assure Lyn about the pregnancy. When the doctor spoke to them about having what is termed a ‘selective reduction’ of the number of fetuses, both were horrified and became even more conflict.

How could they choose one baby over the other two? Things spiralled downwards even more and, in the end, it became an “all or nothing” situation. The fact that Geoff felt overwhelmed further exacerbated Lyn’s panic. Anxiety and fear took over any attempt to be rational, and the pregnancy was terminated. What followed for them both was immense sorrow and anguish over the decision they made.

After reading this story for the first time, you may feel as sad and sickened as I was. You may even be angry. Angry at “Geoff” and “Lyn” for making such a devastating choice, at their doctor for recommending a selective reduction, or with him for agreeing to abort all three babies when the parents were clearly not making a rational choice. If you know that the Australian government offers a lot of support to parents of triplets, particularly in the first year, you may be horrified that the couple were not informed of this.

When I read this story, though, I think of God. The God who will provide for our children, no matter how many we have and no matter what their needs are. It is tragic that so many people do not have the support of faith in God. Instead, when confronted with a pregnancy involving difficulties, they are encouraged to think about whether “they can cope”. How many of us would total confidence in our ability to parent 3 babies at once, or a disabled child?

When we know God’s character, and have a deep love for Him, we can face the prospect of parenthood even when there are difficulties. We can have faith in His character as our provider, defender, comforter, shepherd and friend. God never encourages us to consider our own resources before we choose to bring a child (or three) into this world. None of us know what our resources will be next month, or next year. Yet God has promised us our daily bread, and he will also feed our children. Only God can give us the strength and faith we need to welcome children with hope, even when we cannot hope in our own resources.

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