Wednesday, December 7, 2011

God's Grace in Autism

Not long ago, I was asked a simple, yet difficult question. "Where is God in autism?" The person who asked was a reader of my blog and just didn't seem to understand how a loving God would allow autism to happen. They spoke of the burden autism places on a family. It saddened me to read their email. I wanted to answer them here as well as personally.

As most who read my blog already know, we believe that our son is autistic for a purpose. No, we don't feel that God "made" our son autistic. We believe that God "allowed" him to be autistic for a purpose. You see, the Lord is powerful enough that if it were His will, he could cure our son at any time. Nothing is greater than the power of our Lord! If our son is autistic, then we believe that the Lord will use our son's autism as a testimony of His grace and power. Today, I saw a glimpse of that grace.

Our son is now using a regular bed instead of his baby crib. Sometimes in the mornings, he will come into my room and wake me up. He is a very early riser! Today was one of those mornings. I was awaken by my little guy climbing up on the bed. He held onto my hands and we played a little tugging game that he enjoys. When we were done, he leaned against me and said "I love you". That may not seem like much, but our son is considered non-verbal. He mimics sounds and occasionally words that he hears. It is a rare moment when he actually says something with full intent and meaning. The one exception being his sippy cup. For our son to say "I love you" is a huge step forward. Realistically, it may be months or longer before he is able to say it again. His saying it this morning was a strong testimony of God's work in our son. The Lord is working through him to help free his speech! Later in the morning, he brought me his cup and the canister of cocoa mix. It was his way of asking for some cocoa. I made the cocoa for him and as he took the cup, he gave me a big smile and said "thank you" before running off to the other room. This was a first! Not only had he told me that he loved me, but he said thank you when I gave him his cocoa. Again, a glimpse of God's grace.

The Lord may not have cured our son overnight, but He is working through our son. Each new milestone is a blessing and a gift from the Lord. It is a moment of renewed hope for our son. There is no doubt in our minds that one day our son will be able to stand and share his testimony of what all he is able to do. Not what he is able to do in spite of autism, but what he is able to do because of the Lord's blessing him to overcome the obstacles of autism.