“I have for a long time taken the stance that God has not promised only good things will happen to us, but that He has promised to be with us and help us through whatever happens to us- good or bad. I have said this many times to my children. Having had a long career in the medical field, I have witnessed many bad things happen to many good people. Some with very negative effects on people around them.
About a year ago a life event solidified my feelings on Romans 8, which I have heard quoted all my life when something bad has happened. My daughter, who was pregnant at the time, went for her 20 week check up. She found out that her baby, my grandbaby, had, at best, some hand deformities and, at worst, hand and foot deformities and possibly other abnormalities. Understandably, she was shaken to the core.
Along with family and friends, we began to pray. Although I have prayed for many things in my life, this became something that was in my thoughts almost constantly. I would wake up at night and converse with God and ask for healing of my granddaughter. For the first time in my life, I reminded my God that in Hebrews 4:14-16 He said to approach the throne boldly. I also reminded Him that He said if we had strong enough faith we could move mountains. I had faith, and I claimed His promises. I approached Him boldly and asked repeatedly. I believed, and I knew that if He decided to He could make the doctor's predictions wrong and make my granddaughter’s hands and feet whole.
All this time I was trying to support and love my daughter and her husband who were understandably shaken and upset. More than one person had told them that this was happening because they had not been going to church and not keeping the rules of the church as they should have. I assured them I did not believe God worked like that, and that I was disappointed Christian people would say something so very destructive.
My granddaughter was born perfect and beautiful, but she does have Ectrodactyly. In everyday language- she is missing all but her two smallest fingers on her right hand, her left hand has her 2 smallest fingers and her thumb. She is missing all but her big and little toes on both feet. It is almost certainly a genetic fluke and nothing my daughter or her husband did or did not do. Romans 8:28 was quoted to me, but it rang hollow in my ears. My grandbaby is perfect and beautiful in my eyes, but she will have some challenges and may struggle with thinking it all worked out for good. At some point she may be very angry with God. I can only speculate, as she is just six months old.
My challenge is to have the right words ready for her when she asks her grandpa, “Why did God make me this way?“ I decided to go back and read all of Romans 8 and the chapters around it. I believe if you read all of Romans 7-9 you get the feeling that Paul shared my view that God has not promised everything will work out great for us. I think it’s clear Paul was saying that if we have a close walk with God, no matter what happens to us, it will be ok. I have Romans 8:35-39 highlighted in my Bible, and these verses say that though we face death every day, neither life or death nor demons nor angels will separate us from the love of God.
That is something worth clinging to and counting on. He is my Rock! My salvation! I will worship Him and follow Him no matter what. He is my God and my Father, and no one can take away the peace that passes all understanding that knowing Him brings. I hope I have the right words ready to speak to my grandbaby, that I can convey this message in a way that makes sense and softens her heart to a beautiful relationship with the God that made her unique and special.”