For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
-Psalm 139:13 [ESV]
Answers for Youngsters
Sometimes God does miracles, like parting the water for Moses, or raising Jesus from the dead. But usually God uses regular things when He wants to do something special. God uses nature to give us food. He uses the sun to give us light and warmth. He uses rain to make plants grow. And God uses mommies to make babies.
Even though you grew in your mommy’s tummy, God made sure you had the right mommy and daddy, and that you were born at the right time so that you would be extra special.
Answers for Older Children
Before God made the universe, there was nothing. The act of making a whole universe out of nothing was a miracle, and a special work of God. At that time, God set up how nature would function. Now usually everything that happens, happens naturally. Sometimes God will step in and perform a miracle, but usually God allows things to happen according to the rules he designed.
But just because babies are born through natural processes, God still directs how and when these babies are born.
In the book of Esther, the queen’s uncle tells her, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
What this tells us is that God may have raised Esther by ordinary means, but he had brought her up to serve an extraordinary purpose in history. You are who you are because God wanted you to be that way, and he wants you to serve His purpose in this world. God does extraordinary things through ordinary means.
When a child asks a hard question about how something happens, it is tempting to just tell them that “God made it that way.” This may be true in a sense, but there is a danger in not explaining the natural causes that make things happen. If your child is raised to think that everything is a miraculous act of God, when they finally find out the natural processes that cause the universe to function, it is tempting to believe that religion is misinformed, or that “science trumps religion.”
This conflict between science and Christianity is a fiction which has damaged the Church for decades now. It has become such a persistent idea, that young men and women are leaving the church more and more as they go off to college and become involved in an education which tells them that religion must be wrong because it contradicts testable, repeatable science. As long as we understand that the rules that govern the universe were created by God along with the universe itself, there doesn’t have to be a conflict. And the fact that there are laws that govern nature is consistent with a rule-giver who designed those laws Himself.