“Do you want us to let him go?”
Those were the words that welcomed me into the world. I was born without arms and without any discernible signs of life. In the opinion of the delivery room doctor, I was hopeless. In view of all the suffering and pain that waited for me in my future, my life was not worth saving.
In the harsh stillness of the delivery room, my father offered a simple reply, “Do whatever it takes. Save my son.” The doctors rushed me into another room and began to work on me. Minutes scraped by as my parents awaited news of me. After almost fifteen minutes had passed, a nurse walked into the room with a wiggling, cooing, armless baby boy. God had brought me back to life.
Two different worldviews were on a collision course that day in the delivery room: The view of the doctor that said my life was not worth it and the view of Christ that said my life was worth dying for. The gospels contain a glimpse of this debate in John 9 as Jesus and His disciples stumble across a man who was born blind:
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.’
The disciples assumed that the blind man was the result of a mistake or sin. Christ was reassuring everyone that He does not make poor image-bearers. The blind man was made like this for a reason. He was born blind for the glory of God, even though the disciples could not see that.
Our lives are never defined by the circumstances of their birth or upbringing. God’s purpose and value is stamped on our lives long before you breathe your first breath. (Psalm 139:13-15) The Father calls every baby in the womb a precious life and that remarkable value carries through to the grave. We are not defined by our greatest weakness or most recent failure. The gospel of God’s grace bids us to define our worth by what He says—not by the shame of our failure or the pain of our burdens.