God Knows What He Is Doing
By Dr. James C. Dobson
Seven-year-old Chris Krebs was born with cerebral palsy and was profoundly retarded. One day he and his father, Greg, sat in a hospital lounge waiting for Mrs. Krebs, who worked at the hospital. Another man, shabbily dressed and emanating a peculiar aroma, was also waiting there. He looked like a bum or derelict. Greg went to the nurses’ station and asked how much longer his wife would be. When he returned, he saw Chris sitting by the man. The man was sobbing, and Greg wondered what Chris had done to disturb him.
“I’m sorry if my son offended you,” Greg said.
The man replied, “Offended me? Your son is the only person who has hugged me in the last twenty years!” Greg later said, “I realized at that moment Chris had a more Christ-like love for this man than I did.”
Although disrespect for the disabled or less fortunate is characteristic of our culture, we know there is no “junk” in God’s value system. He loves every one of us the same. He sees our potential, and He uses each person to accomplish some part of His purpose. As His children, we’re called to look at everyone through the lens of His perfect love.
When we show compassion and respect to the people who cross our paths from day to day, we are also likely to treat our spouse the same way. It all begins with a spirit of loving-kindness.
In my book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, I wrote about the burdensome situations in life that we can’t understand. Some are painful or life threatening, others are simply inconvenient or uncomfortable. We know that God could eliminate these problems with a whisper, but, instead, He allows us to struggle.
Why? One of His greater purposes is to reveal His power to us. This understanding comes straight from the apostle Paul who wrote, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels [clay pots], that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7, kjv).
Instead of accepting the irritations of life, many people struggle with what I call the “if onlys.” “If only I didn’t have diabetes (or deafness or sinus infections).” “If only I were not infertile.” “If only I hadn’t gotten into that bad business relationship (or lawsuit or loveless marriage).” “If only we didn’t have a sick child.” “If only we weren’t so strapped financially.”
Are you struggling with “if onlys” today? If so, release them to God. He has a perfect, loving plan for all of your life— even when life seems less than ideal. We may not see why God allows hardship in our lives, but we can be assured it is part of His eternal plan for our good. He asks us to accept His love and reach in humble dependence for His sufficiency.
From Dr. Dobson’s book, Night Light For Couples
Over 40 years, Dr. James Dobson has been a trusted source for psychologically sound, biblically based advice to help strengthen marriages, parents and families. For more practical help and encouragement, go to: www.drjamesdobson.org