Coping with the Challenges, Trusting God

Answering the “Why, God?” Question

Little Boy Next to Spy Pond in the Evening
A few days ago, I read a blog post that asked the question, “Why did God give me a child with special needs?” Good question. I’ve asked that many times myself, thought I had the answer, and then asked again. Rather than going into a commentary on what the blog author wrote (because that’s not really the point of this post), I wanted to take the opportunity to share how God answered this question for me. It is an answer that should put an end to all doubt, speculations, regrets, blame-shifting, and uncertainty.

The answer is found in John 9, the account of the man born blind, then healed by Jesus. Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (v. 2). Have I not ventured into the same kind of futile speculations concerning my son? Was he like this from birth or was there some external cause? Was it failures from inexperienced parenting? Is it because of my own sins? Was it too much TV? Was it the food he ate? The list is endless.

The Lord’s reply was amazing because in His words, I have found the comfort, peace, and assurance that I have been searching for. This is where the list of questions abruptly come to a halt. “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (v. 3). And what are those works? Are they something in the distant future that I must wait for? Perhaps one day, our little boy, who once struggled putting a simple sentence together, will be preaching to hundreds about the sufficiency of Christ or even sharing with someone, who has been beat down by trials, the joy of knowing Jesus. God has plans for Gabriel and our family that are yet to be revealed, and for those, we wait with eager anticipation, resting in the truth that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28).

However, God is also displaying His works in Gabriel now, and we can rejoice in those things now. The amazing improvement in speech that we have observed, even without a speech therapist … that is God! The acknowledgment of our utter dependence on The Lord as we pray for our son … that is God! The proclamation of His power as we testify of His answers to those prayers … that is God! The people who have been touched by our son’s sweet affection and enthusiasm for the simple joys in life … that is God! The model of tender love made manifest as the heavenly Father parents His special-needs children, us … that is God!

God has ordained specific works to display in and through our son’s life. What an amazing privilege we have to witness those works!


(Photo credit: Rachel Ford James)

20 thoughts on “Answering the “Why, God?” Question”

    1. A bouquet! Very cool! Thank you for your thoughtfulness! If I’m not able to get to posting about this and passing it on, please know that I truly appreciate this award bouquet as well as your encouraging words! God bless you!

  1. Wonderfully encouraging words you’ve written here. I got tears reading them as I remember the first moment that I suspected something was up with one of our children. First I felt intense fear, and the next moment I decided to believe that perhaps there is a gift hidden in this young child too. I was right. It is still being unwrapped.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    1. Thank you, Wendy! I read your comment to my husband, and we were both encouraged by it. What other wonderful things will we discover as we continue to unwrap this beautiful gift from The Lord who is our son?

  2. I often hear that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle, but I believe the opposite is true. Many of the things that happen in our lives are so out of our control, so that when everything “works” at the end, His majestic signature can be seen in all of it.

  3. I’m sure you don’t feel like many times but the Lord knew he would make you strong enough for the journey. On the journey you will share your story with many others and your strength will be what gives courage, hope and help to the others who watch you and Gabriel succeed in life. God gives us the opportunity to learn and grow and become stronger in him. The trials and challenges are intended to make us like gold purified in the fire. We are not to run from or try to avoid our trials but to go through them with God close by our side.

    thanks for sharing your strength and your story with others.

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words. My days are certainly not always happy. In fact, they are, as you said, like refiner’s fire. God is reminding me to see my circumstances through the lens of His word.

  4. Wonderful post. I knew a family years ago who had a special needs child. This lad was the sweetest young man I’ve ever met. Sounds like your special child is like that, and why not? He has a special mother.

    Truly God is displaying His work in your son and you.

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