Q: We have a child with fairly severe disabilities, and we’ve gotten used to the awkwardness some people feel around her. But the other day I overheard someone say that they wondered what we’d done to make God punish us by giving us this child. Surely this isn’t right, is it? — M.R.
A: No, it is not right, not at all. I admit I don’t fully understand why God allows things like your daughter’s condition to happen, but I regret this person’s insensitivity, and I hope you won’t take it seriously.
On one occasion Jesus and his followers came upon a man who had been blind since birth. His disciples asked Jesus why it had happened. Was it because the man himself had sinned, they asked, or because his parents had sinned? Behind their question was a belief that was common in those days: If someone was disabled, it must be because God was punishing them for something they had done. And as you learned, some people still think this way today.
But Jesus told them they were wrong. Obviously the man himself wasn’t being punished for any sin he had committed. He was blind at birth. But neither, Jesus said, had it happened because of anything his parents had done. “ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus said, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him’ ” (John 9:3). Jesus then healed him.
May you see your daughter in the same way, as an opportunity for God to display his love and his work through you. Yours is not an easy road, I know, but God is with you, and Christ wants to help you. Ask him to help you see your lives and your daughter through his eyes.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.