What can you say when there are no words? Maggie Gale shares what parenting a child with special needs taught her about how to answer that question.

Guest blogger Maggie Gale shares a poignant moment from this past summer’s holiday break. She’s here to answer a question almost all parents of children with special needs encounters at some point as they rub elbows with other parents raising kids with disabilities or health needs: What can you say when there are no words?

What can you say when there are no words?

That’s a question I pondered recently when we spent time with close family friends. It’s always great to reconnect with people you love and enjoy. But this time someone was missing. Their 14-year-old daughter was in the hospital, where she’s been for over a year now, struggling with a syndrome that takes away her desire to exercise, eat, socialize, and basically live her life.

Shocking, unforeseeable, unbelievable…

Actually there are just no words to adequately describe what this family is experiencing. So, amongst the words, we cried together.

When we see this kind of suffering, suffering we can’t fathom, suffering that seems so unreasonable, we can’t help but ask…

Where exactly is God?
What is He doing?
Why is this taking so long?
What has gone wrong?
After all, we have all prayed so long for healing!

And yet in a multitude of ways, when we open our eyes, it’s plain to see that God is right here…

showing up day after day in the daily provision of kind, professional doctors and nurses,
in the friendship and care of friends
in His majestic presence through worship
in hilarious laughter that had tears of a different kind rolling down our faces.

This summer I again saw the truth that when we wholeheartedly search for Him in our suffering, God is accessible to us.

He is with us, often in unnoticed and uncounted blessings day after day. I came away with a deeper grasp of the fact that God is not a magician with a magic wand. And despite what this precious girl is going through, God is kind, and He is powerful.

He most definitely is present in that suffering.

Our children are not born with this guarantee attached that states they will not experience any syndrome, illness or disability that might seem unreasonable or unfair. Nor are we issued anything like that when we become Christians.

But we are guaranteed that, like Moses, God will go with us and give us rest.
David says that even though we walk through the darkest valley, we are not on our own.
Paul says that His grace is sufficient for us.

These are guarantees we can lean on in the tough, tough times of life.

But they are time tested and solid, and they are more than just words. They are words we can stand on when there are no other words.

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