I have a beautiful daughter who has special needs. She is now 16 years old and growing more beautiful day by day. Her heart and soul ooze Jesus. This is the epitome of beauty.
But this doesn't take away the hurt and struggles that she lives with daily. Especially as she ages, she sees these differences.
She has had a couple of meltdowns frustrated at her inability to understand or be able to discuss things with others her age that she can't get. But overall, she has come to an understanding of God's miracle in her life and the mantra we drilled into her...."God cares more about your ability to love others, to show kindness and overcome evil with good, than He cares whether you know how to add or subtract."
As I was reading through the book of John this week I came across a story in chapter 9 that I have heard many, many times before. But as I read about Jesus healing the blind man from birth, it struck me how it all came to happen.
Jesus was with His disciples and they questioned Jesus about this blind man they saw on the side of the road. The blind man never cried out to be healed. There is no commentary except the disciples wanting to know why he is blind. Jesus says an amazing thing: "This happened so that the power of God could be seen in him." We see that after Jesus healed him, he testified to the religious leaders, believed and worshiped the "One" who did this.
Now, I'm pretty sure that at the time of his birth, his parents did not think to themselves, "God made our boy special to be used by Him to proclaim His glory." I am pretty sure they were hurting and struggled to accept this initially. I think most parents do. But how exciting for them later on to have their son healed.
Yet, you read in the narrative, that they were afraid to tell the religious leaders who healed their son, because they had announced anyone proclaiming Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. But, their blind son, who now saw, believed.
In this age of euthanasia and throwing away of those who don't measure up; in this world of medical pressures to abort when faced with a "special" baby, we must remain steadfast that God's glory is on display. Choosing life is choosing God's way. Choosing life is choosing for God to work in ways that we have a hard time seeing initially because of our own pain. I know several families who have children with down syndrome. I know those who care for their precious children with the utmost care and believe without a shadow of a doubt that they are placed in this world to be God's glory-shiners.
I have a beautiful daughter who radiates God's miraculous work. I have been asked by doctors, nurses, and other professionals what we did to help her excel as much as she has. I then, have an opportunity to gospelize. I have a starting point at which to say, "God; He is the maker of all things beautiful. He gives us wisdom. He gives her understanding that she may not have ever had otherwise."
So I leave the blind man with Jesus and head to John chapter 10, ready to read about my Good Shepherd, who watches over the souls of those He loves. I know whatever may happen to my little lamb as she ages, she has a Wonderful Great Shepherd who will never leave her.