Sunday, November 4, 2012

Your Special Needs Child: The Privilege of Advocacy

I often find myself exhausted trying to get my daughter the medical and developmental help she needs.  We battle with insurance companies, plead with doctors, discuss with therapists, all in the name of getting her the help she needs.  And most of the time, we are powerless.  We have nothing to offer except our passion to see her healed.

It may be similar for you.

You may feel incompetent next to doctors and specialists. You may wonder if you're doing the "right things" when you watch therapists experimenting with the latest techniques and tools.  After all, THEY are the ones who know what they're talking about.  You don't have the background, the degree, the language.

But you have something that doctors, specialists, therapists, special education teachers, don't have.

You have a special assignment.
And it's from the God of the Universe:
you alone are your child's spokesperson.

It may seem like an insignificant, trivial, normal part of your parental role, but don't this lightly:

You are your child's advocate.

And you may be the only advocate your child has.


Remarkably, the pattern and esteem of advocacy is upheld throughout the Scriptures.

Read through the Gospels, and you'll find story after story of people approaching Jesus -- not for themselves--but on behalf of those they love, someone who couldn't go to Jesus on their own.

Matthew 9.  Four men lower their paralytic friend through a roof in front of Jesus.
Mark 9.  A Gentile women approaches Jesus on behalf of her demon-possessed daughter.
Luke 7. A Centurion pleads with Jesus to heal his dying servant.

And it each instance - Jesus heals the sick.  But He does so based on the faith of their advocate.

There's something beatufiul about an advocate.  It about more than just championing a cause.
An advocate is one who stands between the HELPLESS and the HELPER -- pleading the case of the helpless, appealing to the heart of one who can help.

And when you advocate for your child, you represent something far greater than a simply a parent who wants whats best for her child.  

You represent Jesus Christ Himself. 

1 John 2: 1-2
"If anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

Jesus Christ champions the cause of the helpless.  He approaches the Father to plead on our behalf.  And He does not use a medical degree, or specialized language, or a persuasive argument.

He uses His very blood.  Jesus Christ sacrificed His very sinless life, so that we -- the helpless -- could get the Help we needed.

Most children will outgrow their need for "advocacy" -- eventually, they learn to eat on their own, write on their own, sign their own name, make their own money.  But not all kids.   Some children will need someone to speak for them, think for them, fight for them, decide for them -- maybe for the rest of their time on this earth.

If you have a child that needs a little extra advocacy than most -- you are blessed. You are privileged.  With your very words and actions, you live out a greater advocacy that takes place in the heavenly realm - Jesus Christ advocating for us.

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