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Crying when God gives what I need and not what I want is a regular event in my life. It’s most recent occurrence happened on Sunday. At church. During the sermon.

I thought I’d hidden my tears. Until the woman to my left scooted a few inches away, and my husband gave my shoulder a squeeze. He knew what the woman did not. He knew the pastor had said something that touched the tender spot in my heart, the place where I long for the healthy father I never had.

My husband was right. Our pastor had described Jesus telling the paralytic that his sins were forgiven. Then the pastor paused. “Do you think the paralyzed man thought something like ‘Thanks for forgiving my sins, but what I really want is to walk again?’”

Tears welled in my eyes. My dad. My mom. My sister. My brother. Me. We had all wanted Dad to walk again, for God to restore what Dad had lost to multiple sclerosis. But God didn’t give us what we wanted.

Long ago, I accepted God’s plan for my father’s life, though it wasn’t what my family wanted. Decades after Dad left this earth, God continues to reveal the good being accomplished through my father’s life. Even so, our pastor’s words probed the tender spot in my heart where my childhood longings for a healthy father are stored. The probing hurt, and I wept for the father I had wanted.

Our pastor moved onto the mission of Jesus’ ministry on earth, clearly stated in Luke 4:18: to preach the gospel to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and freedom to all who are oppressed. This gospel is good news on a grand scale for sinners. Jesus says we can’t earn, escape, or see a way out of our sin. Instead, He promises freedom to all who rest in what He did for us through His death and resurrection.

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Source: Special Needs Parenting- Key Ministry[/column]

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