Saturday, August 25, 2007

Genetic defect

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezekiel 38, 39; Psalm 118 119:1-24 (NIV)

Psalm 119:147-149 (NIV)

147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your Word.

148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises.

149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your law.

Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)

22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Good morning!

I sat in numb silence, listening to the most horrifying words I think I’ve ever heard. “The doctor said that I have a rare cancer, caused from a genetic defect. It is hereditary.” Like a broken, repetitive record, I’ve played this conversation over and over again in my mind. How I wish it were not so.

Jeff and I have been parents for twenty-eight years. There is nothing that has brought greater joy into our lives than the relationship we share with our three children. We love them so. There isn’t anything we would rather have than to see our children living healthy and happy lives. What parent would not want to give their child the very best of everything? If we could simply pluck the sun, moon and stars from the sky and place them in the hands of our sparkling-eyed babies, wouldn’t we try? Our children had a bedroom ceiling full of stars and planets when they were little. We bought them at the five and dime store one Saturday morning. At night, when the lights were off, the galaxy would come alive, producing a beautiful, pale reflection of itself across the bedroom sky. Just like those stars, our children are beautiful, shining reflections of our love.

Most parents could never imagine passing something along to their children that might actually hurt them. We go out of our way to protect and shield our kids from harm. A genetic defect is simply not acceptable to me. And yet, no matter how hard we try not to, we inadvertently pass our imperfections along. How many bad habits have my children picked up by simply observing me? If I tell them not to misbehave, and then disobey my own instruction, I’ve set the bar at hypocrisy. Medical researchers have proven that many of the addictions and compulsions we face can be traced through our genealogy. Problematic health issues, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, birth defects, and yes, even cancer, can be passed from one generational line to the next. We are predisposed to an imperfect heritage, and that makes it easy for us to say things like, “we are byproducts of our parents. We simply can’t help ourselves. It’s how we’re made. We have no choice in the matter.” The ills of our kin seem to follow us, like the bad breath we taste after ingesting a spicy meal. It revisits us over and over again. Is there nothing we can do to break the cycle? Can a genetic defect be fully cured?

The sin of Adam follows humanity throughout the ages. From generation to generation, we have managed to pass those slimy imperfections and sin along to our children, their children, and their children’s children. Paul reminds us that while sin entered the world through one man, with death the resulting consequence, how much more did God’s grace and the gift of life that comes by Jesus Christ, overflow to many! (Romans 5:12-15 NIV). The healing power of Jesus Christ is the anecdote to our genetic defect. When we recognize our need for healing and restoration, the Lord of life is waiting to free us from the sins that separate us from God. Genetic defects are covered by God’s grace through the power of Christ’s cleansing blood. When we ask Jesus to save us, He keeps His promise.

If I could give my children the sun, moon and stars, I would do it in a heartbeat. The only gift I have to offer, and the only gift worth giving, is the awesome love my Jesus has given to me. I pass it along to them today, praying they will find peace and wholeness, especially when a genetic defect rears its ugly head. There is perfect peace, especially when we struggle with an imperfect life. Cry out to Jesus, and live!

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the anecdote to your genetic defect. You may have been predisposed to some pretty rotten things, and if you are struggling to survive, there is hope for you! Let the grace of God through the love of Christ, cover your sin, heal your heart, and give you His peace today. All you have to do is ask Him.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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