I recently started reading a book entitled, My Left Foot, an autobiography by Cristy Brown. (There is a movie of same title based on the book.) Cristy was born with cerebral palsy which severely limited his physical abilities but his mind was brilliant and active. He states early in his book, “I was now just ten, a boy who couldn’t walk, speak, feed or dress himself. I was helpless, …I didn’t understand what made me different or why it should be. “(pg. 41, My Left Foot) Cristy’s feelings made me start to think about my youngest son.
My youngest son, Genti, has cerebral palsy, too. Although his condition is not as disabling as Cristy’s was, it impacts all he does. He is a smart, thoughtful boy, like Cristy was, but his speech is difficult to understand. He will always have a different gait, poorer balance and coordination, weak muscles,… In summary, he will always need to try harder and be more intentional and still not have his body do what he tries to make it do.
I realized, like Cristy, Genti may not yet have been told why this is so. He may wonder why, as hard as he tries, he can’t make his body do what he wants it to do. I also realized that I have a similar affliction. God uses Paul to explain in Romans, chapter 7:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. (verse 15)
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. (verse 18)
I desire to please God and glorify Him in all I do, as a wife, as a mother, a teacher,… but I am unable to do so because of my sin nature. Unlike Cristy at age ten, and perhaps my son right now, I am fully aware of the cause of my affliction. I am a sinner and the only “cure” for both our struggles: God’s grace. His grace not only saved me from the penalty of sin that I deserve but is also sufficient for the physical challenges Genti will struggle against his whole life as well as our daily struggle against sin. God may not take these afflictions away until we are home with Him for eternity, but his grace will be sufficient daily. For this, I am so grateful. I will have a talk with Gent soon, explaining many things, and by God’s grace, I pray Gent will understand.