Some say my anger at God about Daniel’s autism is misplaced because, while God has “allowed” Daniel’s autism, He has not “caused” it. This may be a logical result of a theological belief in God’s “permissive will” and God’s “perfect will.” I think the desire to believe that God hasn’t “caused” Daniel’s autism, however, may be because we buy the world’s reasoning that autism is a “disorder,” a “defect,” something “bad”–a “mistake.”
But I do not believe that autism is merely “allowed” by God. I believe it is ordained by God.
Those who say that God has merely “allowed” autism, or Down’s Syndrome, or other things that happen to make challenges for the parents assume these things are “bad.” Thus, God couldn’t cause it, but only “allow” it because God doesn’t do anything “bad.” We build our theology on how we categorize things. If we think something is bad, we can’t attribute it to God’s doing and have to find another way of explaining God as being sovereign while these “bad” things nevertheless happen. I think this is defective reasoning. I am not sure it is biblical.
What if God ordained autism in Daniel’s life…not just “allowed” it, but actually hand-crafted it for his purposes… Maybe it was God’s “perfect” will…and not just a “permissive will” thing at all. I mean if we call that which God has chosen, ordained–that which he is very intentional about–and we call it merely “allowed” by God…I think we make a grave error! And we miss what God calls us to do with the thing! Perhaps this has even been my error all along and why I have been so angry about this for so many years (except for brief respites when I haven’t been).
So, I bring to Him my challenge in interpreting this (again). He formed and shaped Daniel in the womb, right? Then this isn’t about something God merely “allowed” at all…but something He formed and shaped. It isn’t a “disorder” and it isn’t a “defect.” It isn’t “bad.” It is divinely orchestrated and masterfully planned and put together. Daniel is God’s divine workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for Daniel to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
And my being Daniel’s mom is, too—planned, orchestrated, intentional.
So, then, I have to grapple with what to be, do, say, think, feel, and how to live accordingly. What am I missing about God’s perspective in this? What supernatural power am I not tapping in to? Where is the wisdom that he promises to give if we ask without doubting (James 1)?
I must come to terms with this.
I am called to praise God for the storm, if you will…not just with an act of my will trying to drum up belief that He will bring good out of it, but seeing good in it and praising Him for it. This is my calling, I believe. Not just to consider autism as being “allowed” by God…and sort of meekly acquiescing because I am backed up against a wall.
But instead, delighting in Daniel’s autism…sounds crazy, huh?
This is my prayer…that God will work in me so that I will thank God for Daniel’s autism.
I am grasping for what to be, think, feel, and say—how to be what God wants me to be in this…I am not there. I must press on, change, step outside of what I presume to be true.
Let me be so bold. I think God did this–Daniel’s autism–for us. I know it. I believe that Daniel’s autism is actually ordained by God…a gift from God…and that means all the pieces and plans are in His hands to present to us as He chooses, according to His divine will.
Lord, I believe, please help my unbelief.