Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Drawing straight with crooked lines

Something in Red's recent post struck a chord with me.

"...I think that even the most dedicated of adoptive parents would agree that in a perfect world, children would never be harmed or abandoned or neglected by the very people who ought most to protect them."

How could I not agree with that? However, I've struggled with this issue for some time. My mother is twice married and divorced. Either the first marriage (to my knowledge annulled) should not have occurred and my sister and I should not be here today. Or the second marriage (also, to my knowledge, annulled) should not have have occurred and my "half siblings" (I hate that term, but don't know of an alternative) and step-siblings should not be here. Divorce is objectively evil. And yet, we are here.

Our boys' birth parents were never married. They shouldn't be here. And they have a little sister who remains with her birth father, to the best of our knowledge. She should not be here. (Or maybe she should be -HERE-, with us and her brothers.) But if it had been a foursome, would we have accepted them? (Three seemed like a great fit, but four would have probably turned us away.) They are here.

You could follow these messy trails for generations. Every family is affected. And you can expand it to entire nations and peoples. Slavery was terrible - should there be so many black people in this country? (Let us be sure to blame the African sellers as well as the European and American buyers.) They are here.

Why are we here?

Rick Warren puts it so beautifully:

You are not an accident.

Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, he expected it.

Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. It is not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you! The Bible says, The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me (Psalm 138:8a NIV).

God prescribed every single detail of your body. He deliberately chose your race, the color of you skin, your hair, and every other feature. He custom-made your body just the way he wanted it. He also determined the natural talents you would possess and the uniqueness of your personality. The Bible says, You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something (Psalm 139:15 Msg).

Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book! (Psalm 139:16 LB).

God also planned where you'd be born and where you'd live for his purpose. Your race and nationality are no accident. God left no detail to chance. He planned it all for his purpose. The Bible says, From one man he made every nation and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live (Acts 17:26 NIV).

Nothing in your life is arbitrary. It's all for a purpose.

Most amazing, God decided how you would be born. Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you. It doesn't matter whether your parents were good, bad, or indifferent. God knew that those two individuals possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom you he had in mind. They had the DNA God wanted to make you. While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children. Many children are unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. Gods purpose took into account human error, and even sin.

As we celebrated Bobcat's eighth birthday last weekend, I was so thankful for God's mysterious plans. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "God draws straight with crooked lines." I praise God for those darn broken ovaries. Bobcat, I'm so glad that you are here. You are ours. You are loved.

1 comment:

Red Cardigan said...

Great post, Daddio!

I know many wonderful children who came from families that truly were broken. We know that God does not will the brokenness, especially when it comes from persistence in sin; but He does will His children to be.

I think we'll understand these mysteries someday. But in the meantime, what worries me is that we almost seem to be setting up public policies to encourage and reward the so-called "alternatives" to traditional family structures, which will almost certainly lead to more children left in terrible situations.

Your beautiful family is an example of how God can still create great goodness and joy out of what was once a bad situation for your little ones; but I think that having parents who are happily married people of opposite genders is *part* of your sons' happiness, not an unimportant detail. Society claims otherwise, and thinks your children (and mine) could be just as happy being raised by a couple of "married" lesbians in Massachusetts, or a couple of gay men in San Francisco; claiming otherwise, that we don't solve brokenness with more brokenness, is becoming very politically incorrect.