Scripture and Sensory Processing
Asking the Hard Questions
As we move forward with modern medicine and treatments, new discoveries and diagnosis, and even renaming old diagnosis as we learn more about the human mind and body, one might think there should be a cure or a treatment to end all problems. The reality though, for those of us with or who love a person with a Sensory Processing Issue, is that we might be leading a life of constant treatments.
Constantly seeking therapy, trying new methods, and coping with life in general in the midst of all this can be overwhelming at best. Sometimes, even the best days end with a heavy burden. No matter how hard we may try to accept things as they are and work forward with a positive attitude, that gaping question looms in the mind like a creeping shadow: Why did God let this happen? Why would God make me/my friend/my daughter/my son this way? We ask these questions from a place of hurt and sheer exhaustion, when all the while the answer has been written in the “Holy Instruction Manual”.
There might not be a section in your Bible’s glossary about autism, dyspraxia or any other sensory related disorder, but there are many clues along the way for taking hold of your spiritual life and finding hope in God’s Promises. Ask God in a simple prayer for an open mind, wisdom, and guidance as we take a closer look at scripture and Sensory Processing Disorders.
Did I do something wrong?
Depending on your background in faith and spiritual teaching you might have heard some very troubling opinions on why a child might have been born with any ailment from ASD to blindness. Could a parent’s sins really have led to their child’s life of suffering? Could a family curse really be the cause of being born without a limb or even with a mind that works differently than everyone else’s? Despite the doubt and worry that comes with the accusations—some you might have even asked yourself without the help of outside opinions—the only way to know the answer is to ask the creator Himself. Just as the Wise King Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun.” This same question was asked by Jesus’ disciples,
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him….” –John 9:1-3NIV
So there’s the answer: no one sinned to cause the man to be born blind. That’s a relief at first, until we read the next thing that Jesus says, “so that the works of God might be displayed…”. What good could come from being born blind? What works of God would come from being born hyper-sensitive to life itself through touch, sound, taste, and sight?
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.“Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. –John 9:6-7 NIV
Ultimately, the man in this story was able to see. Those who knew him were amazed by the miracle of his new sight, except those Pharisees who questioned, doubted, and insulted him. The entire purpose of this man’s life had been a plan from the start: the bring glory to God through the power of Jesus’ healing. Not only this, but as a symbol of spiritual blindness. Though the miracle was visible and true, there were still many with such hard and hateful hearts that they cast away the healed man. They called to him, “”You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.” (John 9:34)
Sometimes, no matter how lovely or wonderful of a thing God can do, such as restoring sight to a man who was born blind, there will still be those who say and do hateful things in response. Remember that you were given this trial as a gift, not a curse, to use as a living testimony to God.
Perhaps Jesus won’t be rubbing any saliva mud onto you or your loved one, but He is present in the Holy Spirit to bring you peace and new life; to be your wonderful counselor and friend.
Does God Care?
The short answer is not only “yes” but, “of course!” In fact, if God didn’t love you then history itself, all humanity, the earth and all plants and animals inside it, would not exist. From the beginning in Genesis, God saw all he made and said it was good. He even chose to give us free will because he values real love over forced love. However, we are also constantly in a battle of the spiritual realm. Satan strives to steal God’s creation and to make it into something God never intended it to be. He temps and taunts as he pours out worry, doubt, and anxiety. When our life finally becomes as tranquil as a beach resort on a summer’s day, Satan is a typhoon. As these dark storms that come from the world as life’s obstacles are made worse by the Devil’s antics, we must remember who has already won the battle:
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world….” –1 John 4:4 NIV
Regardless of the trials we face whether worldly or spiritual, God has already won. He won with the greatest power that defies all evil: love.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” –1 John 4:7-8 NIV
God loves you and cares for you so much that He created you, your family, and your friends so carefully that he knows each hair on your head. He loves you so much that he sent His only Son to die so that you can live a life of eternity in Heaven when your time on earth is through.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” –1 John 4:10
Did God Make a Mistake?
We’ve seen already the case of the blind man who was blind from birth. People have also been born paralysed, missing limbs, and more. The variety of genetic differences is but a part of God fearful and wonderful creation! Medicine has not yet explained why some babies are born “perfect” and others are not. And yet, who is to define perfect? If a child has been born, then it is a miracle and a blessing in the sight of God.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
It may seem hard to give praise when your child is screaming in fear, anguish, and frustrations, unable to communicate what is wrong. Sometimes all that’s left is to pray for peace. But no matter what trials are placed before you, God has made this miracle for you.
To answer the question of God and mistakes bluntly, He at one point in Genesis 6 says that he regretted having made mankind. At this point in time, the world was full of sin. There was no good person left save for Noah—you know that story. A person who doesn’t fully understand right from wrong or is merely reacting as a result of over-stimulation or anxiety is NOT sinning. God also made feelings and He knows that humans are often full of deep pain and suffering. While God sent Jesus to be a pathway to salvation, He also sent Jesus to experience life on this earth as a person in the flesh. Jesus not only felt physical suffering, but emotional:
“An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” –Luke 22:43-44
Jesus prayed to the point of experiencing the medical phenomenon hematohidrosis, or bleeding sweat. Just as God sent angels to comfort Jesus, there are angels in waiting watching over you as well!
No matter where you are in your journey in the Spirit or in your journey with Sensory Processing Issues, God is never too far away. Perhaps this test has been more than you can bare at times and you are just now answering the call to ask God for help. One of the mysterious wonders of God’s love is that He has forgiven your for remaining distant and is always willing to give another chance. Just the same, it can also be frustrating when petitioning God for help and strength only to still feel exhausted. Stay consistent with your prayers! A relationship is a two-way street, and it is hard when the other person is just not visible. But, God sent a visual in the form of his letter, the precious Scriptures. Here are some verses to start with when you are in need of hope, but you will need to look them up on your own.
1 Peter 3:13-18
Anne Laure x