For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
We call them exceptional children. Special needs children. Disabled. Handicapped. Whatever the term, the challenge is enormous for a parent gifted with such a child. But this much is clear: every child is perfectly made by God. God is sovereign over all the earth, including the womb. He has superintended our very conception and existence, and every child born is fearfully and wonderfully crafted by Him.
Scripture is actually filled with those who are physically handicapped. Jacob walked with a limp for the rest of his life after his midnight wrestling match with an angel. Mephibosheth’s body was hopelessly twisted and crippled. King Jereboam had a withered hand. Namaan was a leper. Even Paul suffered from an unnamed “thorn” in his flesh. In addition to their challenges, all of these had something else in common: not one of them was miraculously healed.
So many times we gravitate toward the miracles of the Bible, and there were many. But there were many more who lived day to day with all kinds of indignities, pains and disabilities. A lot of people live without a miracle. But who is to say that the power of God cannot be even more dramatically displayed in the life of one who struggles, but remains steadfast…who seeks to make sense of what appears as nonsense? I believe the power of God is displayed all around us, in the lives of exceptional people who never experience a life-changing miracle. They are not changed. They change us.
~ Dr. Edwin Young ~
I pray that you may find comfort in our God, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. May He meet you in your time of need. I pray that Christ's comfort overflows to strengthen you so you may help ease the pain of others in return. May you never withhold love and comfort from those in need. In spite of your troubles, may you still encourage others with the comfort you have received from God's grace in your life.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
A Parent's Concerns
Jairus was a Capernaum community leader, “one of the rulers of the synagogue” (Mark 5:22). Mayor, bishop, and ombudsman, all in one. The kind of man a city would send to welcome a celebrity. But when Jairus approached Jesus on the Galilean shoreline, he wasn’t representing his village; he was pleading on behalf of his child.
Urgency stripped the formalities from his greeting. He issued no salutation or compliment, just a prayer of panic. The gospel reads: “[Jairus] fell at his feet, pleading fervently with him. ‘My little daughter is dying,’ he said. ‘Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live’” (vv. 22–23).
Jairus isn’t the only parent to run onto gospel pages on behalf of a child. A mother stormed out of the Canaanite hills, crying, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit” (Matthew 15:22). A father of a seizure-tormented boy sought help from the disciples, then Jesus. He cried out with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
The Canaanite mother. The father of the epileptic boy. Jairus. These three parents form an unwitting New Testament society: struggling parents of stricken children. They held the end of their rope in one hand and reached toward Christ with the other. In each case Jesus responded. He never turned one away.
His consistent kindness issues a welcome announcement: Jesus heeds the concern in the parent’s heart.
Every day brings opportunities for parents to panic about their children. There are so many unknown dangers and potential pitfalls we cannot control. But you are in control, Father. So we plead on behalf of our children. We ask you to protect them, to guide them, and to give us wisdom to raise them for your glory and honor. We thank you that you care about the concerns of a parent’s heart,
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray.”
~ Max Lucado ~
Prayer, Thanksgiving, Praise
Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. [Phil 4:6-7]
No care but all prayer. No anxiety but much joyful communion with God. Carry your desires to the Lord of your life, the guardian of your soul. Go to Him with two portions of prayer and one of fragrant praise. Do not pray doubtfully but thankfully. Consider that you have your petitions, and therefore thank God for His grace. He is giving you grace; give Him thanks, Hide nothing. Allow no want to lie rankling in your bosom; “make known your requests.” Run not to man. Go only to your God, the Father of Jesus, who loves you in Him.
This shall bring you God’s own peace. You shall not be able to understand the peace which you shall enjoy. It will enfold you in its infinite embrace. Heart and mind through Christ Jesus shall be steeped in a sea of rest. Come life or death, poverty, pain, slander, you shall dwell in Jesus above every rolling wind or darkening cloud. Will you not obey this dear command?
Yes, Lord, I do believe thee; but, I beseech thee, help mine unbelief.
~ Charles Spurgeon ~