My friends, John and Tina, are missionaries in Australia. They have been married for 20 years, and last year they found out they were pregnant for the first time. They were so excited, and so sure the baby was going to be a girl that they named the baby Eden. Sure enough, it was a girl—but early in the pregnancy the doctors told them they were fairly sure the baby had a chromosomal abnormality and encouraged them to abort. They knew from Scripture that all life is precious and valued by God, so they refused.
On July 3, 2009, Eden was born. Soon after, the doctors diagnosed her with Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome), and one week later Eden went home to heaven. They blogged about their journey (edenlanay.blogspot.com), and anyone following their story couldn’t help but be encouraged by their amazing testimony. Their hearts were breaking and yet they praised God for Eden, their time with her, and how they had grown in their relationship with God through their journey.
After Eden was born, John posted a blog entry entitled “How can a ‘loving’ God allow bad things happen to ‘good’ people?” Below is an excerpt:
First, God NEVER wanted things to be this way. God's original creation was PERFECT and without sin, suffering, pain and death. Imagine that, NO PAIN and NO DEATH! All we knew was GOOD, but God gave us a choice to live in perfection or CHOOSE to rebel and learn about evil. Unfortunately, our ancestors (Adam and Eve) chose to rebel and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good AND evil.So true! He gave the correct answer to why there is death and suffering in this world—not because of God, but because of us (through Adam). I find that so many Christians often answer this question with a statement like, “God uses death and suffering to bring us closer to Him.” That may be how God uses death and suffering, but it doesn’t answer the ultimate question of why there is death and suffering. Only Genesis gives us the answer!
God could have, and should have, left us in this condition, but He didn't. He loves us too much. He often intervenes and reverses the effects of sin in the world and in our lives. We call this a miracle, but the true miracle is how He orchestrates all these things for the ultimate good!
Sadly, John and Tina have experienced yet another death. They found out yesterday that their unborn baby girl, Selah, did not have a heartbeat. This is part of what John wrote:
On December 25th I received something in my email that grabbed my attention, so much so that I cut and pasted this paragraph and sent it to my in-box. Here's what it said:Please be praying for John and Tina, and that God will use their testimony in a mighty way. For a great book that is very evangelistic in nature on the topic of death and suffering, see How Could a Loving God...?
"I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." These are words of total acceptance of God's will. These are words we could say at the beginning of every day. It takes just four seconds.
Mary wasn't saying. "This is wonderful. Of course, I'll do it." Instead she was saying, "This isn't what I had planned, and I'm not sure I understand, but I'll do my best to do what the Lord wants."
Today, I stopped and pondered this. (Wouldn't my daughter be proud?) I know that God is in control and answered my prayer. This WAS His perfect will for us. I find myself relating to Mary, Jesus' mother because this is not what I had planned either, but I accept Your decision Lord. Teach me and use me that my sorrow will not be in vain.