On November 17 at 9:30 pm our precious little Kaleb was born. He came into the world full of life and in many ways a picture of health. One of the nurses commented that it was a “text book” birth. I suppose that means it was an ideal birth. All that to simply say that we are very thankful to our gracious creator for carrying us through this someone difficult pregnancy and blessing us with a healthy little boy. For a little over half way through the pregnancy we were notified that because Kaleb had a slightly larger than normal Nuchal fold he may be born with Down Syndrome or other potential complications. Several times we were offered the option of aborting him (A.K.A murdering him), because of the potential complications. While we never once considered ending the life of our child, it was an internal battle to some degree to simply trust in the Lord Jesus and not let our hearts rise up in anger or disappointment. Obviously, no parent wishes to have a child born with complications or handicaps, and I think that is due to the fact that we have a sense in our hearts that the pain and problems we see and experience in the world are not the way mankind was originally designed. Undoubtedly every human being is equally made in the image of God and therefore has dignity and value regardless of any potential handicap or physical problem. However, such problems are a result of Adam and Eve’s sin and no such things will inflict people in the New Heavens and New Earth for we will receive new bodies as Christ himself did after his resurrection.
While we didn’t want to do anything that would potentially harm our baby, we did make a few trips to Edmonton to have further testing done and speak with a genetic counsellor. Thankfully his heart looked healthy and strong, all the body parts were growing at a normal rate and they were all in place. Therefore, after finding that there were no obvious concerns that could be addressed prior to birth we resolved to trust God to give us the little boy he wanted us to have and to also trust that He is good regardless of how the pregnancy unfolds. It was a time of testing, even though to a small degree, and thankfully by the Lord’s grace, we were able to grow through it and also have a new awareness of people who face similar situations in their family. Truly, God does not waste even the most seemingly meaningless circumstances for those who are looking to Christ and trusting His power to work for good. Likewise, we were reminded that each child is a gift from God and it is up to Him to determine how and when and for how long each child is entrusted to us.
I remember talking with Christine a few days before Kaleb was born and we talked about how we will respond if Kaleb is obviously diagnosed with down syndrome. While I guess we won’t know for sure what our response would have been as Kaleb was born without it, it was a blessing to hear from my wife that she would love him regardless and that he is entrusted to us from God regardless of any disorders he may have. In my own heart I also resolved that I would love this boy as well, and that I would count him a blessing to our home regardless of any disorder that he might have. Again, such things are easy to speak and much more difficult to live out day by day. We know that we are certainly not entitled to have all healthy children without any health problems and any good thing that we experience in this life is totally given to us on the grounds of what Christ did on the cross to satisfy God’s wrath against our sin. People today (including us) are often tempted to ask the question, “why do bad things happen to good people?” and yet instead of trying to answer the question we need to understand that it is the wrong question all together. The bible is clear that all have sinned against God (Romans 3:23) and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and therefore what we should expect in life is pain and suffering and death because that is what the consequence of sin is! And yet, thankfully Paul goes on in Romans 6:23 to say “…but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Any good thing that we experience is due solely to the mercy (withholding what we deserve) and grace (giving what we don’t deserve) of God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, a better question would be “why do good things happen to bad people?”
So we give thanks for our little boy who appears to be strong and healthy. But I pray that we continue to give thanks in all things, even if our children are taken from us, or are diagnosed with a disease later in life. For when our hope is fixed upon Christ, then no circumstance should shake it. Of course this is the great battle of our lives, we must daily fix our gaze upon Christ by faith and daily reorientation our minds through the Word of God, lest our gaze shift and we begin to build upon something other than Christ which will not sustain us when the storms of life come. We receive this precious boy into our family with trembling hands, knowing that we are not qualified to raise him in and of our own strength, nor do we deserve such a precious child entrusted into our care in and of our own merit. This little boy is both a reminder to us of God’s kindness and also as means of us learning to depend upon the Lord in a fresh way as we seek strength, wisdom and resources to raise him.
In the bible Caleb was one of the spies who went into the land of Canaan to spy out the land that God had promised his people Israel. However, because of the fierce and mighty nation who lived in the land the majority of the spies did not trust God to give them the land and cast doubt into the hearts of the people and as a result led the nation into judgement
in the wilderness for forty years. Only Caleb and Joshua trusted God and encouraged the people to trust God to give them victory (Num. 15:20-25). All the spies that doubted God died in the wilderness as punishment, and only Caleb and Joshua got to enter the land God had promised because they trusted God and did not base their faith upon the odds against them. The name Caleb mean “brave” or “my strength is in the Lord” and so we chose it for our son. And while we know “to him who has been given much, much will be required (Lk. 12:48), it is therefore our pray that our son Kaleb grows to be a man who trust God and seeks to encourage others to do likewise. It is our prayer that God raises Him up to be a leader who will promote justice and defend those whom the world would like to destroy.
We thank you for your prayers and encouragement and now ask that you continue to lift up our family before the Father that we may steward these little arrows well and that when it comes time to release them into the world, they flight true and straight and be mighty instruments of righteousness in the hands of the King of righteousness, namely King Jesus.