This post has been a long time coming. I’ve been collecting thoughts and tears and Scripture for the past three years. This one’s from the recesses of my heart–the places I want to hide but the Lord wants me to share.
Joey and I (and many of you) have been praying for healing of Finn’s body since before he was born. I spent just about every night of my pregnancy on my knees in Finn’s nursery, begging God to heal the child inside my body.
I’ve struggled with the purpose of prayer, and continue to struggle. (See my posts on prayer: The Question of Prayer, Even if He Does Not, Bow Your Head, Fourteen Thousand Sheep). God has heard my prayers and your prayers, but Finn was still born with Spina Bifida. Despite our faith-filled, sometimes sobbing and sometimes screaming pleas, he cannot walk…among countless other complications.
When things are bad, I want someone to blame. So, why not blame the Creator for an “imperfect” creation? Oh, but I was so wrong. Finn is perfect. It was my definition of perfection that was flawed.
So whose fault is it?
“As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.…” (John 9:1-3).
Though I know it’s irrational, I felt guilty for Finn’s disability for a long time. Somehow I felt surely it was my fault…after all, he was formed inside my body. But Jesus told his disciples that disability is not a result of sin. It’s for His glory. Doesn’t God receive enough glory without maiming my child for more? I missed the point…God displays his glory–His power–through weaknesses like disability or disease. I’ve seen it a million times in Finn’s life. Each time he counts to twenty or calls each wooden train by name.
Or asks me, “What’s wrong, momma? You are sad.” His mind is a miracle. His smile brightens a room. His kindness is alarming.
We do not serve a God who punishes children for sin. He is not a God of karma or folklore. He is the God of David, Abraham, Moses, Judas, Joseph, Rahab, Ruth, Paul, Peter…flawed humans. He is the God who loves us despite our unloveliness. Who redeems us out of our sin and brings beauty from ashes.
This morning’s sermon at LifeChurch.tv was about Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan who was paralyzed as a small child. I looked at the ceiling with tears streaming down my face to keep from ugly sobbing. One of my biggest fears is that Finn feels shame for his disability; that he feels marginalized, worthless or less than.
Mephibosheth felt so inferior that he likened himself to a “dead dog.” But the kindness and integrity of David, the King, restored his hope. David finds Mephibosheth several years later:
“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” (2 Sam. 9).
A lame child grew to be a broken man whom the King restored to honor. He “ate at David’s table like one of the King’s sons.” Joey says Finn is a beacon of hope. His life is a testimony for all of us because we’re all broken. We all need healing. Finn is a visible representation of that depravity…and a beautiful display of God’s glory.
I gave up being mad at God a long time ago. His goodness and love wooed me back into right relationship with Him where I am the child and He is the Father. He knows better than I do, and though I don’t understand, I trust. Because He is good. Always.
I settled on this: After countless prayers asking for healing, I sensed the Lord responding.
He said to me, “I have healed him.”
This angered me because Finn was not healed. But the Lord revealed this truth to my heart: though He has not healed Finn (or many of your loved ones) physically, He has healed him spiritually. Once and for all. And that is so much more significant, so much more profound a kind of healing than untwisting his spine or strengthening his legs. I long for the day Finn acknowledges and accepts this eternal healing from his Father, restoring him.