Turns out that particular saying isn’t even in the Bible. Honest.
The Lord never said it, his disciples never wrote it down, and it was never part of the greatest story ever told.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against spiritual turn of phrase. I’m a cradle Catholic after all. Semi-lapsed and with Buddhist leanings, but still. My knee automatically bends into a genuflection whenever I have to enter a pew or you know, row on a plane, and I’m well versed in holy hand jives. I’ve even read a good chunk of the Good Book thanks to 16 years in Catholic school and the nuns and priests who made sure we remembered what we read by hook or by (shepherd’s) crook.
Yet never once did it occur to me that someone came up with that saying as a con. As a way to pull the wool over special needs parents’ eyes. As a prettily worded pat on the back that has us thinking a child with special needs is some kind of blessing. Because Lord knows we hear that message over and over and over again.
And I’m so tired of it of hearing it.
Yes, the child is always the blessing. A beautiful, magical, amazing, inspiring kind of blessing.
Not the disability.
The disability sucks and drains and tries and challenges and frustrates and saddens.
A stretch? Maybe. But so is the implication that God hand-picks special needs parents because His infinite wisdom and glorious Jesusness tells Him we can take it.
A little research led me to discover that the saying does indeed have roots in a legitimate biblical verse, so there’s that at least. However, the actual saying is so much better than any knock-off could ever be:
Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Not entirely sure how one led to the creation of the other, but I like to think by “providing the way of escape,” the Big Man Upstairs is giving us parents an “I got your back” shout out.
And frankly, that’s much more comforting.
Photo credit: Lions Gate Films