When Paul was very young and I was deeply struggling with who God is in light of Paul’s disabilities, Pastor John sent me an article entitled, “Is My Child One of God’s Mistakes?”
I stopped everything to read that short article by Dr. Michael Beates, who was writing about his daughter with severe disabilities in light of the Bible.
And God dropped an atomic bomb on my heart through Dr. Beates:
I believe that one of the most frequently-quoted but least-believed verses in Scripture is Romans 8:28. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” If we really believed that verse, if we really believed it to be truth, we could rest in peace even in the midst of painful realities of life, such as children born with genetic anomalies. (emphasis mine)
I lingered over that first phrase for a long time; the ‘most frequently-quoted but least-believed’ reality of it was so horrible because I felt it in my own heart. Yet it opened a door to the possibility that it WAS possible to REALLY believe it to be true, with God’s help. God used those two sentences to push me a little farther down the road to embracing his sovereignty over all things.
I was reminded of that article and that quote just yesterday when Ligonier posted a brief interview with Dr. Beates, which is worth the five minutes to read.
Dr. Beates included much of the content of his article in an appendix in his book, Disability and the Gospel. The entire book is worth reading, but the first appendix alone is worth the price. I just re-read it, and I’m serious – those 11 pages are worth the price of the book.