"Healed". A word that has much emotion and strong personal definitions attached to it. Nothing can rip at a parent's heart like seeing the need for mental, emotional or physical healing in their child.
We revealed in Part 1 the counter-cultural notion that true healing is attained only through the suffering of Christ. It's a healing like no other. And if He suffered, we, His followers will also suffer.
Here's the piece of healing that is tremendously unique to parents of children with special needs. Because of what we suffer through with our children -- the heartache of seeing them rejected, their physical pains, the injustice that is heaped upon them -- we are able to intimately identify with the anguish our Heavenly Father endured in watching His Son Jesus accomplish His earthly mission. When we couple our sufferings with those of the Father, they take on tremendous meaning. We are His ambassadors, His image-bearers to a harsh world.
Attaching our sufferings to His becomes tremendously healing. "Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world" (1 Peter 4:12-13, NLT) In other words, marrying our sorrows to His brings us the overwhelming healing of partaking in His glory! This type of cure is one that restores us to a position better than the one we originally found ourselves in. How awesome that is!
While there is no doubt that a life with special needs is one that contains many trials and difficulties, it is also a very real opportunity to be living out the Gospel in this world. If we partake of the gift of being healed by Christ's suffering in this life, we will also have the inner peace and joy of having a front row seat to watch Him work.
The question this Lent is, Will you accept the free gift of healing? Will you cling to the bitterness and sense of injustice that you perceive that was committed against you and your child when a diagnosis came? Or will you come to the realization that you have a loving Savior who understands each of your hurts (see Hebrews 4:15) and by his own pain, can give yours great meaning? Will you settle for the cheap, temporary human form of healing? Or will you take hold of that gift that guarantees, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be any more death. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.” (Revelation 21:4, GW)? The choice is yours.
Pray: Oh, loving Father! I want the healing that You alone provide! Today, I lay down doing life in my own power and accept your free gift of help that comes through Jesus alone. Come into my heart, and make my life new again in You.
~ Barb Dittrich