A guest post from my friend, Chris Nelson. He is the dad of three (one of whom has severe disabilities) and the husband of a remarkable, Godly-steel-in-her-spine woman. Everything he writes is worth reading!
“Why did God make Andrew’s brain work different?”
That profound question was lobbed my way by a four-year-old theologian who happens to be my middle son, as I sought to shake the cobwebs from my Monday-morning-mind while cleaning up the lower half of my 10-year-old son after a particularly explosive situation.
Joe is getting to the age where he understands that Andrew isn’t like “normal” kids. He’s different. God made him that way. And God is good. And Joe wants to know why God, a good God, made Andrew the way that He did.
“Well, Joe, the Bible teaches us that God chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.”
That’s the first thought that popped into my mind.
“And I don’t know all the answers, but sometimes God does things to teach us things about ourselves, to show us our sin.”
Perhaps it was poetic that I was cleaning up feces at the time.
“Sin is when we do and think and say bad things. Those things come out of the bad in our hearts. Sin is always against God. But you know what? God loves us and sent Jesus to pay for our sin so we could be forgiven and we could be God’s friend.”
“Do we have any yogurt?”
As I’ve thought about that 20 second interaction, I am really encouraged by Joe’s first question. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but he is asking about Andrew through the lens of God’s sovereignty over all things. Even hard things that don’t always make sense, at least to us.
I’m not sure if Joe understands any of what I told him or even if it was the right response in the moment, but he’s asking God-centered questions and as his dad that warms my sin-stained soul. And hopefully, through the gift of a brother with various disabilities, he is learning that “good” is not necessarily synonymous with “easy.”