Thursday, August 27, 2015

We Are All Special Needs

     I read an article today about a beautiful little girl who was labeled as a special needs child because she had a cleft palette.  Her father felt she did not need to be classified in this manner because her condition could be remedied.  This is not always the case in the lives of others who are born with physical and mental handicaps that cannot easily be remedied.  However, as I thought about this, I realized that all of us are really born as special needs individuals.  We may not have an obvious disability, but we all have a spiritual one.  Every one of us is born with a sin nature inherited from our father Adam.  When he fell, his sin infected all who would follow after him.
     Scripture tells us in Romans 3:23:  "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,..." In the Old Testament, we read in Ecclesiastes 7:20:  "Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does
good and never sins."  This is echoed in Romans 3:10 when Paul writes:  "10as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;…"
     God's Word is clear that we all suffer from a sin nature which keeps us from fellowship with God. Talk about a handicap...a disability...a special need!  We, who were created to reflect the very image of God, are born tarnished.  Our thinking does not conform to God's desire for us to live a holy life.  Just like those who suffer from a physical problem that cannot be remedied, we cannot help ourselves.  We are slaves to sin.   Yet, for us, there is deliverance just as the Apostle Paul wrote in
Romans 7:24-25a:  "What a wretched man I am!  Who will deliver me from this body that is subject to death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord...."  We are all wretched and trapped in a body of death until the Lord calls to us and awakens our hearts through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  When we put our life in His hands, confessing our sins and turning away from them, we become a new creation.  Truly the old life has lost its power over us, but we will spend the rest of our days in this world with a conflict between the new life in Christ and our old flesh that wants to pull us back.   Like Paul, we must thank God that through Jesus Christ we are more than conquerors who can and will over come all obstacles set before us with the power of His Holy Spirit.
      All too often, I think society as a whole looks with pity on those who have special challenges; yet in my own experience as a grandparent of a child who faced some complicated issues, I can honestly say our Branson was a happy child, greatly loved by his parents and extended family and someone who had a heart to persevere.  Lately, I have been thinking of him a good deal and I still marvel at all he faced with great grace and how in his short six years, he impacted so many.  I wish I could say I had the same strength that he demonstrated every day of his life.  Truly, he was used by God to teach us so many rich lessons.
     Before, we label someone as special needs, we need to step back and look at our own lives for each one of us is in the same boat spiritually.  We have a deep need which only God can satisfy.  I John 1:8 reminds us:  "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."  We cannot ignore our situation because our eternal destination hangs in the balance.  Who then, really has special needs?  The child with an extra chromosome?  A person who is deaf or blind?  No, we all are handicapped without the Lord Jesus Christ.  May we never forget this, and may we be quick to run to Him for forgiveness of our sins.  In Him, we are whole and complete once again.  Selah!

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