Why Would God Create a Baby to Live for Two Minutes?: Ask Pastor John

Video from Desiring God

"With eternity in view, any span of life is a vapor. However long we live, our time here is preparation for the endless days of heaven. Why would God design a baby to live for just two minutes? That’s not a hypothetical question, even for some of you listening right now. And it was certainly no hypothetical question when it was asked in a 1994 article published in Christianity Today, written by a grieving dad named Marshall Shelley. Marshall had lost two children to genetic defects. He and his wife, Susan, lost a daughter just shy of her second birthday, and they lost a son, who lived for just two minutes. Their children passed within three months of one another. Their son, born with the rare genetic disorder called trisomy 13, lived for only seconds, as was medically expected. “The doctor cut the cord and gently placed him on Susan’s chest,” Marshall recounted. “He was a healthy pink, and we saw his chest rise and fall — the breath of life. Thank you, God. Then, almost immediately, he began to turn blue. We stroked his face and whispered words of welcome, of love, of farewell. And all too soon, the doctor told us he was gone.” Later, Marshall reflected on the experience and wrote this: “I was with my son his entire life — two minutes. He entered the world of light and air at 8:20 P.M. on November 22, 1991. And he departed, the doctor said, at 8:22. It seemed a very short time. Too short. My wife, Susan, and I never got to see him take his first steps. We barely got to see him take his first breath. I don’t know if he would have enjoyed softball or software, dinosaurs or dragonflies. We never got to wrestle, race, or read — would he have enjoyed those things like his older sisters do? What would have made him laugh? Made him scared? Made him angry? Those questions swarmed around my soul in the days following my son’s arrival and hurried departure. So many things I wondered. But one question loomed larger than all the rest, haunting me for months: Why would God create a child to live two minutes?” The question is pointed. Why would God create a child to live for only two minutes? Following this season of pain, after the loss of his two children, Marshall Shelley attended his high-school class reunion, and was asked to stand up and share what he had learned about life. The story got back to Pastor John, who recounted it in a 1995 seminar on God’s providence. Here he is. Read or listen to this interview at our website: https://www.desiringgod.org/interview..." from video introduction.

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