For God’s Glory

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Sarah Stegall

When I was pregnant with my second child, I developed complications and was confined to bed. During that time, while watching a TV special on autism, I thought, Lord, I could never handle anything like that.

Later on, our son John was born. He was apparently healthy, but as he grew something seemed wrong. At 2-1/2 years old, he was diagnosed with infantile autism.

The doctors offered us no hope that John would recover. They said we should institutionalize him.

I was angry with God and couldn’t understand why this had happened. Both my husband and I were serving the Lord.

My husband, who was just out of seminary, was in full-time evangelism. Christian friends thought I should stop all ministry involvements and devote myself to raising our son.

We questioned: Is this how we are rewarded for our faithfulness?

The pain was unbearable. We were serving God passionately; it just didn’t seem fair.

And what about Daniel, our other son, who had prayed for a little brother to play with? Was this the work of a good God?

While I was still angry, God slowly began to reveal His immeasurable love to us and to our son. I began to understand that just as I watched John but was unable to rescue him from his personal prison, our heavenly Father had watched His own Son suffer for the greater purpose of saving mankind. God watched and allowed Christ to suffer for the higher purpose.

Then I began to experience the goodness of God–the fellowship of His sufferings–from His heart to my heart. I was able to understand unconditional love. I knew in that season of our lives that as much as I loved my son, God loved him even more; and God was totally trustworthy.

As I repented before the Lord, I was able to release my son into the Father’s hands. God gave the grace for it all.

My relationship with the Lord was restored. He continued to use me in ministry while our son improved.

Years ago I asked the Lord, “Why?” His response was simply, “For My glory.”

Today John lives a normal life. This year he graduates with an associate’s degree in business. He’s looking forward to owning his own business someday. And I believe he will–to the glory of God.

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