‘I just don’t understand’ – Trusting God with the unexplainable
As I write this, I am sitting in a large facility where profoundly disabled children and their carers are enjoying a range of play activities.
Many of the children seem unable to walk, talk, communicate or even feed themselves without assistance. They are beautiful boys and girls; many have big mops of curly hair and smiles which melt the heart of this grumpy, middle-aged journalist!
The joy on the faces of those amazing kids masks the fact that some of them are in pain or will face real struggles as their little lives progress.
At least one person I have spoken to has asked the question: ‘why would God allow these little ones to be born with such issues?’
I could respond by trotting out a response based on the view that disability and all suffering has occurred as a result of ‘the fall’ as recalled in Genesis three.
And while it is, in my view, true that illness, decay and pain entered the world after Adam and Eve sinned, such a general answer seems inadequate when one looks at the face of a child for whom life may be painful and maybe even time limited.
On the flip side, it would be inappropriate and crass to attempt to offer any kind of explanation as to why certain youngsters have a disability and others are able-bodied. There are some things only God knows, and we must trust the One, who according to 1 Peter 2:22, ‘committed no sin and no deceit was found in His mouth.’ (NIV) ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways’, declares the Lord’ in Isaiah 55:8-9.’
What we do know is that all human beings, including every severely disabled young person, are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14) in the direct image of God (Genesis 1:27)
Each one has an indescribable beauty about them as they are a handmade likeness of the only true God.
What’s more, each created person is create for a specific purpose which only he or she can fulfil. For confirmation of this, look at Ephesians 2:10, which says: ‘For we are God’s handiwork; created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.’
Those of us with disabilities who are older can live in the security of those words – we are not ‘defective goods’ from a Heavenly factory. Rather, we are part of God’s eternal blueprint for good. Equally, if you are a parent or carer of a disabled child, draw strength from the fact that God has not forgotten you. Along with the little one you love you are building His Kingdom. God loves you both so much and will do more than you could ever ask or imagine through your situation.
Joe Boyd (Author of ‘Trading Places: From Hopelessness to Happiness’ and ‘Trading Mindsets: God, Disability.’)