Saturday, November 10, 2007

Made In His Image

In case you are not familiar with me and my family, I have a four year old Daughter with Autism. I was asked a few questions from a new friend about my struggle with this situation this week and I thought I would share them with you.

The question was asked what have I learned the most about God in this situation.
The following is my response:

More than anything else, I think God has challenged me on what it means to be made in His image. It began when my wife asked me to consider praying Scripture over our daughter for her healing. Typically I do not do this. I feel as though when people do something like this they are in desperate situations and, in an effort to "strong arm" God, are claiming a promise of God that was not made to them. They want the promise of someone else for themselves. This has the devastating potential of setting you up for a major disappointment and disillusionment. It was a risk I did not want to take.

However, after some prayer I felt a peace about doing this. So I began to do a word search on the topic of concern. Namely, that our daughter cannot talk. So I decided to look up scriptures for things like speech, lips, mouth, tongue, voice, etc.

The first one I came to was Exodus 4:10-12. Moses is speaking with God at the burning bush. God is asking Moses to go to Pharaoh. Moses in turn gives God a litany of things that disqualify him for the task (something that I relate to concerning my calling as well). One of things was his difficulty in speech. Moses tells God "I can't speak well. I can't do what you are asking."

You know I always remembered this story with God getting angry and fed-up with Moses and saying, "Well fine then, I'll send Aaron with you and he can speak for you!!!" You know what, He does not do that yet. Instead He says something to Moses I was not prepared to hear.

God says,"Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

When I read this the Spirit hit me in the chest like a tun of bricks. God was telling me that our daughters Autism was not the result of a genetic defect. It was not because something went wrong in the womb or in her delivery. On the contrary, it was God's intention that she be like this. God reminder me that He molded and fashioned her with his own hand; that she was just as fearfully and wonderfully made as any other child. To God, She was a Psalm 139 child. She was fashioned by the hand of God Himself. Created with divine design, meaning and purpose, with the same fear and wonder as anyone else.

God also showed me that He heard my prayer and I needed to go in peace and leave Him alone about Delaney's healing. He Himself was going to help her speak and teach her what to say.

Well that was when I realized that God had made her just the way that she was. If I was not accepting of that then I was telling God that He made a mistake with my daughter and I did not approve of or like His creation. How could I say that to God?

After that 'talk' between me and God I was challenged to rethink what it means to be Made in His Image.

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