As Long As

How can three little words have so much significance?  It might sound something like this, "As long as my child is healthy, I will be okay." Or,  "As long as my son or daughter is healed, everything will be fine."  How about this one-"We would adopt, as long as we knew everything would be okay with the baby...I mean, what if something was wrong with it and it disrupted our lives?" And, one time I actually heard these words, "I don't really care it it's a boy or a girl... just as long as it's not retarded." That was a first for me...granted, I have heard "just as long as it's healthy" quite a lot (and even said it myself), but for some reason, these words grieved me so deeply.  Maybe it was just the fact that it was such an honest response.  

Currently there are ultrasounds that indicate whether or not you will have a boy or a girl.  And, you can have further testing to determine if the baby has a chance of having certain special needs like Down Syndrome, or Spina Bifida.  And, although most will say they just want to know "what they're looking at", statistically in these cases, the child will NOT live. The child will be killed because of a found disability before birth.  There is also new genetic testing being reported that allows parents to find out the complete DNA sequence of their child long before he/she is born into the world.  Some believe this is just the start to even more testing and preferences, such as, being able to identify if you will have a child who is "athletic", "smart", or "good looking".  It is only the beginning and it sounds very scary.  

It's like we want to question God's plan, or his ways and have things our way.   It might be hard to imagine having a child with special needs and it definitely is not what you would ever want for them...but we are not God and often we do not see the full picture as He does.  But, I can tell you that I get glimpses of why God has made Jack as he is...and in those moments, it all makes sense somehow.  All of the heartache, worry, fear, and sadness is gone and is replaced with hope, peace, purpose, and indescribable joy...a joy that I have never experienced before.  I am confident that when we surrender to the Lords plan and allow him to lead our lives, the blessings we receive are far greater than anything we could plan or do on our own.  

So, what do we do when "as long as" doesn't happen the way we wanted?  

What do we do when there isn't a surgery to be had, a pill to take, or a treatment to completely heal?  

What do we do when we find out our "healthy" and typical 9 month old has a life-long, incurable condition?  

What do we do when our teenager suddenly has MS and our lives are turned upside down?  

We turn to Jesus and call on him day and night...and we trust the Word which tells us that God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).  There is so much comfort in these words, right?  

Father, help me to be obedient to Your plan and be someone who says, "I know I will have suffering and go through difficult things in life, but as long as I am grounded in You, I will not be shaken."  

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4:13

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned", said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." John 9:3

Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.  Romans 5:3

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