Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3:00 a.m. Conviction

Yesterday, I posted about my phone calls to the CDC to try to ask questions about vaccine safety. I have removed the post until I can think about my words a little further... I woke up at 3:30 this morning thinking about it...

I have had the conviction lately that I am doing a poor job encouraging my friends to trust in the Lord above all else as we search out answers on vaccinations. In fact, I have not mentioned the Lord at all! Please forgive me.

Ultimately, Scripture teaches us, even "the king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord," (Prov. 21:1), and whether that king (or government official) does good or evil, the Lord's purpose will stand. "The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble," says Proverbs 16:4. When we are distressed by government policies or decisions (ex: failure to fully inform us of risks), ultimately, as Christians, we can place our hope in the Lord and His promises. He has made us and crafted all our days, and His thoughts toward us are precious! (see Psalm 139)

We need God's wisdom
James 1: 5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." God promises to help His people by giving us wisdom. When we pray, we can rest in this promise and have faith that God will do it.

For me, as I know is the case for many of my friends, the information on vaccine safety, once you start digging, is overwhelming and frightening. I have a general plan of how to go about weighing the risks, but it takes a lot of work to find the information I feel I need. In the end, I just will have to trust that God led my husband and me to the right places, and we will have to make a decision for our son.

We need humility and the fear of the Lord
One thing that stood out to me last week was Proverbs 15:33: "The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor." In my interactions with others regarding this topic, I truly want to honor God by recognizing my shortcomings and the fact that I do not have all the answers. I humbly reserve the right to make decisions for my child, and need to humbly respect others' rights to do the same for theirs.

In addition, I will need to remain open to new information that may affect my son's health.

We need to trust God for our children
The topic of man's free will and God's sovereignty has filled entire books, so I can't do it justice here. But I see that I need to make the best decision I can as a parent while also trusting that God is in control of my son's life. For me, I have many doubts that certain vaccines are safe or necessary for my child. Instead of just trusting God as the needle goes in, I feel the burden to look into it more. This may not be the case for everyone. To me, it relates a little to walking down a dark alley at night. I trust God with my life, but there are certain risks I do not take.

I also need to believe that God is good and that His will is perfect, even if harm would befall my child. Jesus said, "I have said these things to you that you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) I am encouraged to know that God is not surprised by the troubles we have, but instead tells us to expect them and "take heart" in knowing that He is the ultimate Overcomer. One day, we will see his victory over all sin and injustice.

Psalm 1 speaks of the man whose "delight is in the law of the Lord," and how that man is "like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither." Lately I have felt a little that my leaves have been withering, and that I need to take some time to soak next to that stream once again. I need to devote a little more time to life outside this issue, and the posts may drop off for a while.

My next resource for personal research will be the Vaccine Safety Manual by Neil Miller. As I have read one of his other books, I believe that this new one (published this year) will be a complete coverage of all current vaccines, their risks, and full information about the diseases. He has included about 1000 studies from medical journals and other sources and I expect that everything will be footnoted. Since I love to highlight on paper, I think this will be more helpful to me than dancing all over the Internet looking at different sources (though I'll keep doing that, too).

If you are looking for more spiritual guidance and refreshment, I would refer you to my friends' & pastors' blog, The Blazing Center. It is one of my favorite daily reads and is always concise yet thought-provoking.

May God give you peace as you trust Him for your children.

3 comments:

Alicia said...

I agree completely!

Terri Lewis said...

Sara,

As you continue to share your decision making process, and your decisions (I hope you will share those, too) I know you will help others.

The information is overwhelming and confusing, largely because there is so much misinformation, too. (You can get lots of that from the CDC!)

I know you will find answers you can live with. I know that it's possible to make better choices, even if we don't have the time or wisdom to make perfect choices.

Thank you for sharing all of this.

I know another mother who would benefit from your journey, as she also has a young child (15-month-old son).

I intend to direct her here, amongst other places, if she is interested in more info.

Terri Lewis

Sara said...

Terri,
Thanks. I like what you said about maybe not making "perfect" choices, but they will be at least much better choices because we had more information. It's so much "easier" to trust blindly (!), but I simply can't do that anymore. Thanks for stopping by.
Sara