I once met a man named David with Cerebral Palsy. His mom had been the whole world to him. She carried him everywhere, fed him and loved him. One day, David’s mom died, and he became a bitter, angry person for several years. Not only did he want to die, but he decided that God hated him and David wanted no part of Him. But even though it hurt, there was good that came from that tragedy. David learned to walk. He was forced to take care of himself. He has gone around the country speaking of the goodness of God because he knew that the pain was there for a reason.
How many of us enjoyed learning to walk? My firstborn was a late walker, and when he took his first steps, I was so happy I screamed his name. That scared him half to death and he plopped down on his bottom and cried. It took weeks for him to walk again, and my sister was the one to coax Joshua into it. After that, the child ran everywhere. If he ran into a wall, he’d bounce off and keep on running. He still loves to run.
We live in a world where people in pain are quick to point out that God must not love them, or it wouldn’t hurt. But learning to walk is no fun. Children bounce off tables sometimes. They hit the ground hard. As much as parents try, we can’t keep our kids from falling before they learn balance. Yet we do it. Walking is better than crawling, and so we let them hit the floor. Then we scoop them up and tell them we love them, and hold their little hands for a moment to get them to try again. Because they must walk. It’s a part of growing up.
There is a sweet girl in our church who is very sick. She’s only 13, and she has a virus that attacked her heart and kidneys. It amazed me that when we asked for prayer requests some people posted that it wouldn’t work. But it is working. She’s still in danger, but she’s improving day by day. Those who are angry because God didn’t answer their prayers need to know that pain doesn’t equal neglect in all cases. Sometimes it’s just a necessary part of growing. I’m not saying I like it. But I sure do love being able to walk.