Life in the time of the book of Judges was hard. Again and again we read, “the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” But even in those hard times, they were not without hope. God’s purpose would prevail. As we read in Judges chapter 3, part of that purpose was to raise up a man who was unique. At the time, his uniqueness may have been seen as a weakness, but God uses our weaknesses to show His greatness.
“Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man” (Judges 3:15).
This left-handed man Ehud became a judge and a warrior. God used him to bring about rest and peace in the land for eighty years. Being left handed would have been considered a disadvantage at the time. Even a disability. But God didn’t use him in spite of being left-handed, but because he was left-handed.
He whispered over my older son, “Make that left hand stronger than the right.” Because we believe He guides all details, we must also believe He whispered over my sister’s forming chromosomes, “Make a third copy of chromosome 21,” giving her Down syndrome. And over my younger son James He whispered, “Autism.”
But when we hear words like “Down syndrome” or “autism,” we can be short-sighted and only focus on the disadvantages, the disabilities. We may even think God can’t use our children because they could never be judges, warriors, or heroes.
In Exodus 4:11 the Lord asked Moses, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” It is the Lord. And because it is the Lord who allows these disabilities, these differences, He must have a reason.
I see one of the reasons for our son’s disability each Sunday morning. Our church wouldn’t have a special-needs ministry if it weren’t for James. He was the catalyst for the ministry to start. We wouldn’t host respite nights, have a special-needs Vacation Bible School class, or have buddies for special-needs kids in Sunday school and the service.
My husband and I didn’t start the ministry, but James did. Church members saw there was a need and met the need. It started with James, but it hasn’t ended with him. Families are being reached through the ministry. They are hearing the gospel. They are experiencing God’s love. And ultimately, their worlds are changing.
When I think back to my dreams for James to be a world changer, I’m amazed by how God has made that happen. What I saw as a weakness, God used as a strength. What I thought was the end was just the beginning.
When you feel like the dreams you had for your child are dying, trust that God isn’t giving up. His Plan A will still happen. Your child will still have an impact on the world because God will use him or her for His purposes.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)