I went to The New University of Ulster to study Environmental Science in 1969. The first essay title was The Origin of man. I knew my lecturers wanted me to say that man was descended from some ape through evolution. Back then I definitely didn’t believe I was descended from an Ape. Animals and humans are different. Despite not getting a good mark for my first attempt at debate on the Origin of Man I went on to finish my degree and graduate.
A few years later I was married and was raising two children. A friend gave me a bible to read. I read the first page of the bible in Genesis. It is written that God created the earth and the first man. He was made in God’s image. God created Eve and He told Adam and Eve to increase and multiply and fill the earth. This sets us apart from animals. I now had something to tell my lecturers about the origin of man. “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, Genesis 1:27-28 ASV
It is because I read this scripture and believed it, Brendan and I have fourteen children. God helped us as we raised our children. We increased and multiplied.
I had a miscarriage when my baby was 12 weeks old. She would have been my ninth child. I saw clearly the unformed body, head, legs and arms. We put our little baby in a wooden box and bought a grave. We stood around the graveside with our other children while the grave digger made a small hole for the box. We prayed. Psalm 139:says all the days ordained for me were written in your book. I believe our baby even though only twelve weeks old is in heaven, where I will see her again.
There is much debate nowadays among politicians who agree to abort babies. What age a child in the womb should be killed, 12 weeks, 22 weeks or full term? I believe a child is created at conception. He is made in God’s image. I believe abortion is against the law of God which is to love God and love your neighbor. Not recognizing a child in the womb is not recognizing the God who created the child in the womb.
Jesus said let the little children come to me for such is the kingdom of God.
I’ll leave you with a statistic I read today. Sixty three million babies aborted in America since 1973. Ten million babies aborted in Britain since 1967.
It is a month now since a second son left home to work in Canada.
Isaac, my twelfth child and seventh son, graduated from University of Ulster with a degree in Public Relations. The twelfth child to get a university degree in our family.
He worked hard and was diligent in his studies.
His graduation ceremony was in the morning and he started his journey to Vancouver that night.
Isaac desired to go to Canada again but he was not sure when to leave.
He had secured the important two year visa.
He had been given a token for 500 dollars towards a flight to Canada after he helped an unruly passenger on his last trip.
He looked at flight prices at the end of June.
After the third of July the prices to Canada went up.
He was able to book a flight on the third of July, the day of his graduation, and the price was covered by the token.
We had a great day celebrating with family but all too soon he was away.
I returned home that evening with the celebration balloons, which are a bit deflated now.
A bit like the way my heart was feeling.
Over the next few days I was very tearful when I remembered Isaac.
The car mats were all that was left of his car.
His football gear was left in his room.
Would he wear the Downpatrick shirt again?
The towels on the floor of the bathroom and the empty bottle of aftershave were other memories.
Isaac had lived at home for the past year and was a great support to my husband and I.
Isaac means laughter. He brought joy and comfort to us. He helped us both with IT skills.
He helped with the house move. He got on well with other family members.
He helped keep the home fires burning over the winter.
He helped kept our home warm as well as our hearts.
After Isaac left we both were a bit down.
We both suffer silently our pain of two sons leaving home to work in Canada within a month of each other.
In Genesis 3 v 16
Because of disobedience, God said to Eve, “I will greatly increase thy labour pain and thy child bearing. And in pain will you bring forth sons.”
I believe this scripture means one will have pain not only in having children but also in rearing children. Hence the heartache of separation after rearing children.
My husband spent some time making a photo album of the graduation day.
We remembered Isaac as we looked at the photos.
God comforted our hearts and the pain has gone.
It is now their time to make their way in live. Like the young birds they have to leave the nest.
It is the way of life. We lay down our lives as parents to give life to our children.
I know God has good plans for Isaac.
I am proud of him.
He will prosper whatever he puts his hand to.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)
Have you ever told your child not to touch the biscuits you have left in the cupboard?
He does the very thing you told him not to do!
Temptation comes and he takes the biscuit.
How often have you been disobedient to parents or those in authority over you?
The problem seems to be in our nature.
We do the very thing we are told not to do.
In the garden of apple trees today I am reminded of the story of Adam and Eve from the scripture.
I believe that God created man and created the earth for him to enjoy.
God gave man free will and gave him charge over all creation.
God met Adam in the garden and talked to him.
He did not have to work hard.
He just had to tend the garden and enjoy his surroundings.
One thing God asked of him was not to eat the fruit of a certain tree.
There were loads of others to eat.
What did Eve do? She picked the forbidden fruit and gave it to Adam.
Temptation came to her in the form of a serpent.
They disobeyed God.
Don’t we often do the same. Disobey guidelines we are given for our own good.
We are like Adam and Eve.
But the good news is Jesus came on earth to rescue us from our sinful nature.
If we believe in him he gives us the power to obey and not be disobedient.
We can we restored to walking and talking and hearing from God and taking charge again of what God created us to do.