A Baby – the Gift of Life | God’s Word Today

baby-the gift of life

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” – Psalm 127:3

Hunter and Darcy were born only at 22 weeks, each weighing at 500 grams and 560 grams, respectively.  They are presently ten years of age.  At the time of their premature birth people have written their parents hateful comments when they posted their babies’ medical struggles, including insults that they should have been aborted.  The twins have given hope to many premature babies and their parents.

More than fifty years ago a baby who was born at less than 30 weeks didn’t have a chance. Twenty-five years ago the factor dropped to 25 weeks, and today, thanks to vastly improved medical treatment, a baby born at even 21 weeks has a reasonable chance of not only making it but also growing to maturity.

Amazing? Absolutely, especially since until the last century a baby wasn’t even considered to be alive until the second half of the pregnancy. It was when the mother first felt a little child kicking and squirming in her tummy—usually about the end of the fourth or fifth month—that the infant was considered to be “alive.”

For example, in the Catholic Church of the 19th century, an abortion that took place during the first half of pregnancy was considered a sin, but one performed in the second half of pregnancy was considered a sin which not only needed to be confessed but one for which penance was necessary.

Under British Common Law, abortion in the first half of a pregnancy was a minor crime, a misdemeanor, but in the second half a felony or serious crime.  But it is quite amazing how the old beliefs live on, aided and abetted by terminology referring to an unborn child as a “fetus,” not an infant or a human being.

What are the facts?  At conception 23 chromosomes from both a male and female unite to form a single cell. Locked into that cell, that begins to divide rapidly, is a genetic code with the new little person’s sex, eye color, shoe size, brain capacity, and hereditary framework in place.  About the sixth day, the developing little infant, surrounded by a protective sack, attaches to the mother’s body in a kind of incubator known as a uterus or womb. About 18 days after conception, long before a mother even suspects she is with child, a tiny heart is beating, something that goes without cessation for the rest of the child’s life, no matter whether he lives to age 5 or 100.

By six weeks brain waves are detected. Fingers are forming, and a baby’s first movements take place. By the eight week, the little person swims freely in the amniotic sack. Taste buds are forming.  By the eleventh week every organ system is in place. Baby is growing and has a skeletal structure, nerves, and blood is circulating in the little body.

By the 14th week the heart pumps several quarts of blood through the little body every day, and by this time the little infant knows pleasure and pain.  By the 20th week—the time when an infant was first considered to be human, a century ago—the baby recognizes his mother’s voice. He responds to his mother’s emotions, whether they are negative or positive.

By the 20th week, or about 4 and ½ months, the little person can make it outside the mother’s body.  The gift of life is a gift from God, says Psalm 127. It’s still true today. A baby is God’s way of saying, “Life must go on!”  It’s the greatest human miracle in all the world because only God can give life—physically and spiritually.

Resource reading: Psalm 139

This devotional © by Harold J. Sala.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission from Guidelines International Ministries. Not for sale or profit.

Dr. Harold J. Sala
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