Sunday, November 11, 2012

Your Special Needs Child: Living Out the True Gospel

Before I had children, I was told that being a parent will deepen my understanding of the Gospel.  After all, the story of the Gospel is one of an all-powerful God, who made Himself human, to rescue people who could not rescue themselves.  Ephesians 2 says that we were DEAD, and God made us spiritually alive!

Then, you have children.  You literally bring a person into being.  You give him life.  Your very body nourishes and grows her.  The, you bring him into the world, and you feed, clothe, and nurture this precious, helpless child.  You bring life to one who would otherwise die.  And all the while, you get a glimpse into how God takes care of you - He moves towards you and gives you life in your helpless state.

And parenting images the Lord in a beautiful way.

But in an incomplete way. 

Because here's the difference:  Eventually, those children move from "helpless" to "independent."  What was once a lopsided relationship with the parent serving and the child receiving, has become a reciprocal relationship.  In fact, most children grow up into adults that eventually care for their helpless parents.  Eventually, the roles are reversed.

But that's not the Gospel. 

The Gospel is not about God giving us a little push at the beginning, helping us for a couple years until we're "big enough, old enough," to do things on our own, reciprocate His love, even "help Him out" years down the road.  The Gospel is about a God who nourishes, stretnghtens, saves - continually, faithfully, every day-- until the day of glory.

If you have a special needs child, your temptation might be to resent the fact that he will never outgrow his helplessness.  That she will never become independent.  Please understand, there's something profoundly and eternally beautiful about what you're doing, and what you're learning.

The Lord has chosen to reveal to YOU what not every parent may get to see -- the lifelong, gospel-imaging, care for a helpless person -- rescue and care long after they should have "outgrown" their need.  For that is what God has done for us.  He is the faithful rescuer, pursuer, Father to His helpless children.   And He is the God who calls you to do the same.

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