If you have birth defects, congenital anomalies, and developmental problems, can you still claim that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God? Read this blog to get a deeper answer to this hard question.
Every 4.5 minutes, a child is born with a birth defect.
That means that in every 33 live births, there is one who is expected to be born with some kind of deformity.
Now, that figure is just in the United States. The number could be higher if you look at the world as a whole.
This is the grim and sad reality of life.
Here’s how the Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines birth defects:
“Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body (e.g., heart, brain, foot). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe.”
With this in mind, we need to ask the hard question, are people born with birth defects still considered to be made fearfully and wonderfully?
A quick look at Psalms 139:14
The famous line, fearfully and wonderfully made, was taken from Psalm 139:14.
I will praise You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
The whole 139th chapter of Psalms is about God’s infinite wisdom about us and His unending care to His people.
In verse 14, King David goes deeper to what it means to be truly called a son or daughter of God. David literally describes how God formed and made us and how He already knew us even before we are born.
To read about the deeper explanation of Psalm 139:14, please check these blogs:
A hard question to answer
For people who are born with no birth defects and congenital anomalies, it is so easy to say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
You and I can readily embrace this verse.
However, if you are in the shoes of those people who have mild to severe birth defects, it is kind of difficult to say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
There are certain struggles that people with disabilities that others will never understand.
As a person with no birth defects, you will never know what it really means to be born with a cleft lip or palate, heart defect, clubfoot, spina bifida, down syndrome, hearing loss, visual problem, hydrocephalus, and the list just goes on and on.
Even if you are a parent of a child with a birth defect, it is heartbreaking to see your child struggles in life.
In these times that we often ask, “Why God?”
To make things even more difficult, people who have birth defects may feel embarrassed, incompetent, and alienated. The challenges of living a life with a birth defect can be too debilitating especially when you consider that most of these cases will last their lifetime.
Are those people with birth defects still considered to be fearfully and wonderfully made?
I believe this is a valid question that we need to answer.
Looking for the right answer
I want to share with you my honest answer to our question:
I don’t know.
To tell you from the heart, I don’t know the answer.
I wish I know so I can easily explain away the hurt and bring comfort to those people who have been affected by birth defects.
But what I do know is this:
God made everything perfect.
In the book of Genesis 1:31, we read:
God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
God’s creation was perfect and beautiful until sin entered the world.
It is NEVER the will of God for people to be born handicapped or with birth defects. But because of sin, infirmities, diseases, and suffering became a normal part of life.
Every one of us was made by God fearfully and wonderfully.
But because of sin, birth defects and abnormalities come to being.
Here’s something you need to remember:
Your birth defect does not change the fact that God created you – that you are still a child of God!
It is important to understand that this world is Satan’s world (II Corinthians 4:4). He is the evil and powerful being behind every suffering we see in this fallen world (I John 5:19).
They say, by knowing your enemies, you’ll know how to defeat them. The same is true with Satan. Thus, be sure to read, “Top 20 Surprising Biblical Facts about Satan You Need to Know!”
Romans 8 tells us that the whole creation was delivered to corruption and it is subject to futility. That includes us. That’s why the whole creation GROANS and eagerly waits for the revealing of God’s people.
God’s comforting words
We might never know the exact reasons why God allows certain things to happen such as birth defects. Sometimes, it could also be because our own doing. God can choose to reveal it though, but in some cases, we simply don’t know.
However, we read in Romans 8:28:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Whatever situation you are in right now, God can use your situation for good.
God can use even the worst situations to fulfill His will and purpose.
Remember the man who was born blind? His name is Bartimaeus. His infirmity leads him to Yahshua (Jesus Christ). Because of his blindness, he was brought to the presence of the true Light of the World.
The blind man’s story teaches us a lot about suffering and its purpose. Be sure to read, The Inspiring Lessons from the Healing of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52).
There are good that can come out from the bad.
Remember Paul’s comforting words. When God didn’t grant his request for healing, he then realized that He can use this infirmity to glorify God. He learned more vital lessons from his darkest hour.
It was then he wrote in II Corinthians 12:9-10:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This shows us that even if you and I have infirmities and birth defects, it shouldn’t give us an excuse to question God’s infinite love and wisdom.
We all have “thorns in the flesh.” Do you want to know why and how you can use it to serve God? Here’s a blog to read.
Though we may not understand now, we will in the future.
Just learn to trust God and believe that He has nothing but good in store for us (Psalm 84:11).
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Looking into the future
We must always remember that though our physical bodies may have birth defects, they are just temporary.
Our bodies are not meant to last forever.
You and I must realize that the sufferings in this world is a reminder that this isn’t yet what we can call home. There’s a better world waiting for us in the Kingdom of God.
Let us not forget the encouraging words of the Apostle Paul:
Therefore we do NOT lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.II Corinthians 4:16-18
The suffering that we encounter and experience today will help us better appreciate the future world. It helps us to look forward to the coming Kingdom of God when our Heavenly Father will finally heal all those who are sick and make whole those who have birth defects.
In Revelation 21:4-5, it tells us:
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be NO more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
God will one day bring healing to all the nations of the world. Finally, at that time, we will all be blessed both physically and spiritually. We will ultimately see the goodness and love of our heavenly Father and His Son.
Certainly, we can all look forward to that day and always pray, “Thy Kingdom come.”