August 1, 2011
Greg Lewis is a police officer in West Virginia, a committed Christ-follower, and the father of four children. He is also the writer of a moving blog entitled Wrestling With An Angel. In one of his blogs, he introduces us to the angel with whom he wrestles, his oldest son Jacob, now seventeen years old, with significant special needs. In the process, he also introduces us to some great truths about God, about being a parent, and about being parented by a heavenly Father. So I’ve chosen to share one of his blogs with you.
“My son’s name is Jacob, we call him Jake. He is named after the grandson of Abraham, the youngest son of Isaac in the Bible; the son who was born small, weak, and insignificant but who was nonetheless chosen by God to father a nation of great and mighty people. God works like that. The Bible says He often chooses the foolish to shame the wise; the weak to shame the strong. Or maybe He chooses the foolish and weak to teach the wise and strong that true wisdom and strength comes not in ability, but in reliability on something or Someone wiser and stronger than yourself.
Living with and raising my son over the past 16 years has taken everything from me. It has sapped my strength, scattered my brain, broken my heart, and tested my faith. But it has also caused me to see that this is not just my son’s story, it is my story. It is the eternal story of God’s grace with me.
In perspective, I am the handicapped one here. God is my Father, so gently and patiently caring for me and meeting my needs. He pursues me into the busy roadways when I run-off uncontrolled and He holds my hand in the crowd so I won’t get lost. He feeds me, cleans me and dresses me. He understands my silence and speaks for me. He takes up for me and defends me. He cares for me. And even when I resist, even when I fight Him, even when I throw my fits of refusal, biting and screaming and kicking in disobedience, He holds me tight and gently whispers in my ear, ‘I love you, no matter what.’
At the end of the day He puts me to bed, tells me His story in a way that I can understand it and softly kisses me goodnight. He has compassion on me because he knows how I am made.
This is my son…and this is me. I am raising him but he is teaching me. He is teaching me lessons of unconditional love and devotion. He is teaching me to look with perspective on my life. He is teaching me all about patience, forgiveness and fortitude. Most of all, through the life of a mentally challenged, physically disabled child, I am learning all about the grace of a sovereign, loving, forgiving, and gloriously mighty God.”
For those of you who are parenting children like Jake, may you know God’s pleasure in you. For all of us who are so much like Jake before our heavenly Father, may we rest in a Father infinitely greater than Greg Lewis.