This topic hits home for me. I have four children, two of which have severe special needs. My oldest child was born in 1991 and he had a stroke when he was a few days old that has caused him to be extremely delayed mentally. He looks normal, he can walk and he speaks articulately and within a short time you would be aware that he has challenges. Some of them are obvious and others only reveal themselves after getting to know him.
He has been diagnosed with Epilepsy, Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD NOS), Anti Thrombin III deficiency(AT3), which is a blood clotting disorder that probably caused the initial stroke, and he has been tested many, many times with the determination that he is mentally retarded. He reads at a Kindergarten level with mostly inconsistent results.
In spite of his issues, he is a very generous and caring young man. Anytime someone is at our house visiting, he offers food or drink,whether we have it or not to give. He is constantly trying to help with his siblings and us parents to the point where we almost have to tell him to stop. Since he struggles to read, he has learned to build just about anything with Tinker Toys, or similar toys, simply by examining the pictures that came in the instructions.
My youngest child was born in 2008 and he also suffered a stroke a day or two after birth, again caused by the AT3 deficiency that he also inherited. A few days later, he suffered another stroke on the other side of his brain. He was born 2 months premature, because my Wife had severe preeclampsia and had to deliver right away or she would not have made it through the rest of the pregnancy. He has spent many days in and out of the hospital and we expect that this will continue for the rest of his life. He has been diagnosed with, among other things, Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy. He is not able to walk or talk and can’t even sit up on his own. He has a feeding tube, because he cannot eat by mouth and he is on oxygen, through a ventilator attached to his tracheostomy, to assist with his blood saturation levels. He has many other issues as well, that we are dealing with, and so the above information is enough to get to my point. You can read a more detailed story about him on the Our Ongoing Trial page.
When I was 13, my Mother worked for an institution where people put their children that were suffering from various forms of special needs. We would often visit her there and got acquainted with many of the”patients” that were living there. It touched me so much, that I prayed to God to give me a special needs child, when I was old enough to be married. I completely forgot about that prayer until my first child was born. There is much more to what happened next, so for now we can just say that, God did not forget and he answers prayer.
Shortly before my Wife began getting sick, while pregnant with our youngest child, my oldest child approached her and told her that he had prayed that God would give him a brother “Just Like Him”. What do you say to that? My Wife responded that God knows best and that we will see what happens. As you may have guessed, God answered his prayer too.
You see, God did not create the universe, as we know it, and then abandon his creation. He is very much involved in our lives and answering prayers. Neither I nor my son knew just how difficult having a special needs child can be, but God knows and he provided the exact person that we needed to have in our lives. He provided me with the perfect Wife and my sons with the perfect Mother. I am not saying that my Wife is perfect, but she is perfect for me and my children.
After all of the above, I now get to my point:
Neither of my special needs children will ever be able to make a choice to either follow their own sinful nature or to follow God, through the sacrifice of his own son Jesus. Therefore, since they cannot make that choice, they are automatically going to Heaven when their time here is finished.
Knowing this, how can I or anyone else possibly turn against God, when we have a child that suffers from anything?
These children are simply a Gift from God, to God. We are just the blessed family that got to take care of them while they were here.
God bless and thanks for reading.