I’m sitting in car line again and all’s quiet…..so I decide to look at Facebook for the first time in a couple days. And surprise! Just posted! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law welcomed their first child into the world less than two hours ago – a gorgeous baby girl. I’m sure we’ll talk to the proud mom and dad very soon, but for now, the immediate gratification of a photo is fantastic!
Night before last, I dreamt of a baby who I presumed – in my unconscious state – to be my niece. This princess was crowned with a nearly-full head of dark brown hair, and snuggled up against her mother’s shoulder. Today, I see in the photo that my new niece looks so very much like the sweet child of my mind’s eye.
But before I get too carried away and start to think that maybe God was telling me this birth was going to turn out well, I relax and sink into what I already know. First of all, thanks to modern ultrasound technology, we knew in advance the baby was a girl. (Her tea party baby shower was a flurry of flowers and pink fun!) Secondly, and more importantly, my conscious thoughts about this baby’s birth had nothing to do with the reality of it. Yes, my stepsister died just 3 weeks ago after complications from childbirth, but that is no reason to be overly concerned or worrisome about this birth today.
A verse I was taught so well as a child often echoes in my mind – probably because my parents shrewdly detected an up-and-coming professional worrier:
Cast all your worries upon Him, because he cares for you.
— 1 Peter 5:7
This verse, and others that echo the same command, speak Truth to my struggling heart when lies about God’s loving providence worm their way in. To fight back against the enemy of my soul, I take the worries captive, and give them all to the One who has a plan for both my niece, born today to two parents, and my nephew, born a month ago and left with only his dad.
Did my dream tell me of God’s plan for my niece? Was the warm embrace of mother and child an indication that from this day on their lives will be unmarred by difficulties such as illness, family strife, broken hearts, financial strain, or countless other possible kinds of suffering? No. We live in a fallen, imperfect world. But He does have a plan for these babies, and they will not be automatons living the plans out – they each get to make a beautiful choice. In His infinite love, God offers these children – Himself.
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says The Lord,
plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.
When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.
When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all
your heart, says The Lord, you will find me with you….
— Jeremiah 29: 11-14