(Dr. Joel Beeke preached at HRC on Psalm 139; I credit his sermon for many of these thoughts.)
Some people like to think we have happened here by chance. Which means our entire existence is by chance and our abilities and disabilities are by chance.
But the Bible presents a completely radical approach–that we are personally created as unique individuals by a personal divine creator, God. If it’s true (and it is!) then each one of us has tremendous meaning; we’re not floating aimlessly but have purpose and reason to our existence.
Poetry from the books of Psalms (chapter 139)
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139 tells that God actively and personally crafted each one of us and wrote down every one of our days before we even began. Your life is not an accident. Your child’s life is not an accident.
In the early days of Calvin’s life I struggled to understand how God could have made Calvin and yet allowed him to struggle so significantly. If God really loved Calvin, wouldn’t he have made him with zero disabilities? Wouldn’t he heal his lungs instead of Calvin struggling to breathe through countless respiratory infections? At the base of it: did God make my child disabled or is it just the result of living in a fallen world? Who messed up here? That was my bitter question.
But over time I’ve learned that when I want to understand God’s love, I can’t only look at the small picture of my present circumstances but I need to lift my eyes on the big picture. Instead, I look at what God says about himself and what he’s done. He gave his son, Jesus, so that my son, Calvin, could have eternal life.
This short life may be full of struggle for Calvin and it’s not what I would choose for him. But I do know that God’s heart is near to the broken-hearted, that he IS good and that he’s sent help better than a cure just for this life, an eternal cure for sin and death. He’s sent help in the form of what was nearest and dearest to him, his own son.
And in the meantime, God cares very much for my son and his needs. In fact, he invites me to come to him and bring my troubles to him. He promises to be my refuge, my strength, and a very present help for Calvin and I.
Psalm 139 tells me that my son, with all his unique needs and diagnosis (spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, microcephaly) is a personal creation, a sacred work of art of God himself. He matters to God. Be encouraged, your child is a sacred work of art crafted by the Creator of the universe. And he knows every single detail of your child, they are his masterpiece.
Imagine if you had a famous piece of art in your home; you’d protect it, show it off, and value it, right? God has given you something of far more value, a masterpiece beyond compare, your child. And he’s given it to you to enjoy, honor and protect.
And it honors him when you care for one of his creations, one that is especially tender, vulnerable and defenseless. He’s entrusted this child to you and it is the noblest calling to be the one to care for this masterpiece. As you tenderly change another diaper, stretch another tight muscle, give medications, dry tears, endure seizures, and spend another sleepless night…you are guarding and protecting a masterpiece of God. What an honor