Lessons From Handicap, Part 5: God's Special Child -- By Lori Ciccanti

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him."  (Psalm 127:3 NIV)

For some parents, the worst fear is having a child who is handicapped. I have often asked the question, how does today's Scripture apply to raising a child with a severe disability? As a mother of a son with autism, I understand the unique struggles of families with an individual who is disabled. Yet the Psalm describes children as an inheritance and a reward. It also illustrates the need for total dependence upon God to build a successful home. Clearly, without the Lord's help, our efforts are in vain.

My son, now an adult, has helped me to understand and appreciate how God can work through many circumstances despite my son's handicap. The apostle Paul reminds us that God uses some of our situations to bless others, bringing glory to Himself:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV)

How does Psalm 127:3 apply to those who are faced with the tremendous task of caring for their children with special needs? Some parents at a support group I once attended were asked about the contributions their children have made in their lives. Some of their thoughts included learning how to depend on God; being able to love unconditionally; appreciation for what comes from the heart, not just the mind; compassion; and perseverance. Our children have taught us many things, but most importantly, they have taught us to submit our wills to God and to trust in His wisdom and unfailing love.

Scripture reveals that my son is a heritage of the Lord -- God's special child.  It is an honour that He has entrusted him to my care, a reward that will be treasured in my heart forever.

Prayer: Lord, we pray as Jeremiah bids us in Lamentations 2:19: "Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children." Amen.

Lori Ciccanti

(To access the entire "Lessons From Handicaps" mini-series, please click here.)