There are two vases in our home at each side of our front door. One of the vases fell and the top was broken off and now it has a crack in it. Instead of throwing it away we put it back together. It's a little more fragile than the other vase but it's still beautiful. You have to get up close to see the imperfection because though the vase is cracked it still looks amazing! We didn't get a new vase to remind us that just because something is broken doesn't mean it needs to be thrown away. One vase reminds us of a "typical" child while the other reminds us of a child with special needs. One has a flaw and one seems normal, but they both have equal value.
Most people would look at a child with special needs as one of very little worth, but God looks at a child with special needs as someone ready to be used.
2 Corinthians 12:9 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.
If you ever look at a piece of distressed furniture it is purposely made with imperfections. If you look at this wood there are a lot of flaws in it. But its the flaws that make it valuable. God has never created anything that wasn't perfect. Anything that has ever come out of God's hands was created in His image and was created with a purpose. We as humans are the ones who see the imperfections. That's why the Bible says, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. That's why when people come up to special needs parents and say things like "I'm believing for your son to be made whole the question I have is what if he is already whole! What if this was exactly who God created my son to be? Maybe I don't want him "typical." Maybe even with all of the struggles he's brought more meaning and depth to our lives than if we had a typical child. Heck, what would you rather experience a thousand Denny's or one amazing hole in the wall with an original menu. I'll take the original.
The question I've asked myself many times is do I want Connor to be fixed or do I want Connor to be used for His glory.
Of course if my son Connor was healed of autism that could definitely be used for God's glory and I'm all for it if that is God's will. But if Connor never had autism I don't know if he would be Connor. This is who he is. This is who God created him to be. It might have been easier for our family if he didn't have special needs but his life has shaped us into who we are and I love who are family is. Scars and all. Bruised and sometimes battered but still standing. Not victims, but victors!
Sometimes we are looking for solutions to temporal problems while God is busy establishing an eternal kingdom. The Bible says in James 4:14 you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Life on earth is short and God only has minimal time to use us to build His kingdom. We all need relief from problems but I always try to understand there are bigger things going on and that our children were created for a much bigger purpose than their diagnosis.
So when I can't understand I ask myself can I trust God one more time. When you are in the land of I can't understand, you better get ready because God has a HUGE plan. That's why Proverbs 3:5 says, trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will DIRECT your path.
Rick Warren says, "Your most profound and intimate experiences will likely be in your darkest days—when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you're out of options, when the pain is great—and you turn to God alone. This is when God does His greatest work for His greatest glory. Brokenness has a perfume that pride can never produce."
You see a vase cannot have a lid, it has to have a hole in it so it can be poured out. Let me encourage you to leave the crack in your life alone if God allowed it. Maybe it was meant to be there so God could be glorified through it. Don't put a lid on what was meant to be poured out. If it ain't broke don't fix it!
Craig is currently the Director of Ministries at Lakewood Church, overseeing all pastoral ministries and staff and the founder of Champions Club developmental centers for special needs with over 30 centers across the world. Craig is the co-author with Dr Sandy Robinson of “Champions Curriculum” a full scope Christian curriculum for special needs. He is the author of Lead Vertically: Inspire People to Volunteer and Build Great Teams That Last and his new book Unrehearsed Destiny: Its Intermission, Your Second Act Is Coming. Craig and his wife of 26 years, Samantha, have three children: Cory, Courtney, and Connor.