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God, Our Father

By: Beth Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 4)

For those of us who have been blessed with the privilege of parenthood, we have been given special insight into the heart of God for His children. We understand a little better the delight that He feels as He watches us grow and the pain He endures when we suffer.

God knew us before we were born, even before we were conceived. Psalm 139: 13-16 says, “13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.” These verses describe God’s tender care for a baby developing in its mother’s womb. Pregnancy is such an amazing miracle. The mother carries the baby as it grows in her womb, but she really doesn’t control her baby’s growth and development. She can’t cause fingers to grow, the brain and nervous system to develop, or the heart to beat. God does it all! He displays such love as He carefully creates every tiny detail of the unique little person that He makes. Before our daughter Natalie was born, we had a 3D/4D ultrasound done. It was so exciting to see what she looked like! Even though she was still growing and developing, we could see intricate characteristics of our unborn baby. She had a nose like mine, a mouth like her daddy’s, and even toes like his.

According to Scripture, God had a purpose for each of us before we were conceived. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” He already knew our name and everything about us. Parents often have a difficult time deciding on a name for their child. This was the case for us, too. I liked names that were too “trendy” for my husband David’s taste. We had agreed on the name Natalie if our baby was a girl, but the middle name remained elusive. David suggested Beth, but I was afraid that others would think I was conceited if I named her after myself. Our twenty week ultrasound changed all of that though. When the technician told us that our child was a girl, I knew that she was Natalie Beth. How wonderful it is to know that God already knew her name and everything about her.

Earthly parents prepare for the birth of their children. We buy clothes, blankets, diapers, etc., and hopefully, we are ready well in advance of their arrival. Unfortunately, David and I are both terrible procrastinators. We were up washing baby blankets and packing our bags while I was in labor! Thankfully, God is not a procrastinator, and He has already prepared for the spiritual rebirth of each of His children. Romans 5:6-8 tells us “6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The way has already been made for our salvation through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for us. We can’t really comprehend the depth of God’s love for us that would cause Him to send His Son to die for our sins. Giving up your child is unthinkable, yet that is the value of a soul to our Heavenly Father.

Mothers go through a great deal of pain and discomfort to bring their babies into the world. The misery of labor can drag on for hours. In the spiritual sense, Jesus “labored” in agony in the Garden, during His trial and torture, and on the cross to deliver spiritual children into the Kingdom of God. When a child is born, most new parents are joyful, although exhausted. When I first heard our daughter wailing at the top of her lungs, I cried tears of joy. Our Heavenly Father rejoices when a sinner repents and in essence, He receives a spiritually newborn baby. Luke 15:7 says, “7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” When I was in the recovery area after my c-section, I was watching David holding Natalie. He looked like he was enchanted with her. I still look at her in amazement sometimes, especially when she’s asleep. God is the same way about us, but even more so.

New parents spend a lot of time looking at their children to try and figure out who they look like. We feel thrilled when someone else looks at our child and tells us that they look just like us. Over time, children often grow to resemble their parents even more. When my younger sister was born, she didn’t look very much like either of our parents, but as she grew, she came to distinctly resemble our dad. This should be the case with every born-again Christian. As we grow in the Lord, we should resemble Him more and more. What a joy it is when others know that we are children of the King without us even saying a word!

It is said that babies know their mother and father’s voices before they are born. Natalie was crying and very upset while she was being cleaned up right after delivery. My husband spoke to her, and she stopped crying long enough to turn her head and look at her daddy. Spiritually speaking, we know the voice of our Heavenly Father. Jesus said in John 10:3-4 “3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”

Parents have a built-in instinct to protect their children. Even in our sleep, we are alert to their cries. I have often grabbed David during the night as he rolled over, thinking that he was Natalie and that she was about to fall out of the bed, even though she was in her crib! God protects His children, too. Psalm 91:9-13 says “9 Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in [their] hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”

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