Linda’s eyes stared past the present as she verbalized the questions her heart had been asking for years.
“I’ve always felt guilty for my son’s Aspergers. Was it my fault? Could I have done something differently to change the outcome? Could I have caught it earlier and reduced his symptoms? Did my attitude aggregate his symptoms?”
The ladies in our small Bible study listened intently as Linda shared. Over the past few weeks, we had been exploring our faith in depth. Nothing about Aspergers was mentioned in the Bible, so could God be counted on to speak to this situation? Could we actually find God’s Word to be the answer to our problems?
Linda continued, “Our assignment this past week was to read several chapters in the gospel of John. As I read, I heard the Holy Spirit speak directly to my heart through the words of John 9:3, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.’”
Tears pooled in Linda’s eyes as she explained. “My son’s Aspergers isn’t my fault and it isn’t his fault. God revealed that to me in no uncertain terms. His Aspergers is in order that the works of God might be displayed in him. I now have a renewed sense of expectancy — waiting to see the Father unfold His plan. My heart is flooded with joy. And my joy doubled when I shared with a young woman at school whose child also has autism. The Word of God still speaks. And He speaks directly to me!”
The next morning, one of the first things on social media was this same passage. Our omni-present God was busy revealing these same words to another mother of autism, five hundred miles away. Then, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, you dear reader needed to hear these words as well. Maybe your difficultly isn’t autism, but you’ve asked these same questions. Here the Father says to you:
‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.’
Laney, mother of a son with severe autism writes: “John 9:3 is my son’s life verse. It has been my life support in the darkest and deepest caverns autism has left us. As I scrub fecal matter smeared all over my son’s enclosed bed with tears in my eyes, I find myself whispering, “so the works of God might be displayed in him.” When the school calls me once again and apologetically requests that I take my son home for the safety of all, I force the words, “so the works of God might be displayed in him.” When his peers move on, grow and develop normally, my heart hurts so badly that I think I will actually break. Yet, I grit my teeth and push out the truth once more…”so the works of God might be displayed in him.”
“But then there are glorious days when these words become so real and alive that I can hear His breath and see His veins pulsing through the pages of my Bible. The words of Christ transform into my own and I confidently testify of its truth.
“Like today, when I reflect on the miracles of the week and realize they began with Jude’s autism. This week a young girl gave her heart to Jesus. I literally watched the chains of fear fall from her as she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior. My connection to the family? Her younger sister shares Jude’s diagnosis.
“Tomorrow night I will lead worship in a local night club. All because two very unlikely people (a night club owner and me, a worship leader) were brought together by the same passion: a love for special needs children. Today is just one of those days that the promise of John 9:3 is not dragging my broken spirit along but raised as a banner at my Jesus celebration.
So, whatever it is that God is allowing to happen in your life for the “works of God to be displayed”, don’t give up. Keep reciting and chanting the phrase until you wake up one glorious morning and those words become the lyrics of the song bursting from your heart.”
May it be, O Lord — despite all circumstances, may it be.
I’ve noticed something about the stoney spiritual path. The proper trail may lead to an intensive trial.
You led Abram onto a bridleway of blessing (Genesis 12:1-2). Yet, upon arrival, a famine occurred, and he was forced to escape into the Egypt. There was a trial along the trail (Genesis 12:10).
You chose Moses to walk the direction of a deliverer (Exodus 3:4,10). But along the way, Moses stumbled into years of complaining and rebellion from the very people that he had freed. A trial along the trail (Exodus 14:11; 15:24, 16:2; 17:2; 32:6; Numbers 11:4-6; 12:1-2; 14:1-4; 16:41).
You led David in the paths of righteousness, but as he followed boldly on, Your walkway dumped him into the valley of shadows. A trial along the trail (Psalm 23:3-4).
Are you trying to tell me something?
Your calling, choosing and leading are not into an avenue without anxiety. But into an alleyway of greater dependence. The further we follow You, the more we depend upon Your Presence.
Just because I scrape my knee climbing over boulder on the footpath, doesn’t mean I’ve taken the wrong road. The beaten-down grass before me signals Your Presence and I’m drawn along by Your magnetism – my weakness attracted by Your strength.
When Your track leads me to famine and dryness, I find it’s easier to seek earnestly for You, the Living Water (John 4:14).
When Your course leads me amidst complaining and unrighteousness, then I’m more eager to hear the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).
When Your direction finds me in deep depression, I must believe through the fog. You are somewhere close-by, and my prayer for increased faith is granted (Psalm 23:4; Philippians 4:5).
You lead inwardly, more than outwardly, as my footwear of peace is more important to you than my hiking boots. May I accept Your order – Your Spirit shepherding mine, my inner man then guiding my outer.
After all, when I’ve put away my own map, I’m better able to accompany You (Mark 8:34).