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"And I want Kramer to grow up and know that…God created him, accepts him, and loves him just as he is."
-- Steve Largent, speaking of his son with spina bifida
"Steve, we've got a problem here."
I'll never forget these words the doctor said to me in the delivery room as my wife, Terry and I celebrated the birth of our fourth child.
We were elated over our new little boy. Then, the doctor turned him over on his stomach, and I saw the problem -- our son, Kramer, had been born with spina bifida, a defect which left part of his spinal cord exposed.
I felt like my world had come crashing down. I thought of all the things Kramer would never be able to do as a normal, healthy child, I'm convinced, now, there's only one way I was able to handle my initial pain and disappointment.
It began back in high school...
As a sophomore, I was one of 150 guys who tried out for the football team. I was so intimidated I actually quit. Fortunately, my parents encouraged me to stick with it. I did. That season I made varsity, and my life appeared so fulfilling. I was popular and successful. And yet I felt so empty inside. I really had no sense of purpose in life, no peace or contentment.
Then I made the discovery that changed everything...
I attended a meeting in Oklahoma City where I heard clearly the gospel of Christ. I thought I knew what the Christian faith was all about, but this time it really made sense to me. The speaker explained it like this: Imagine a room divided in half by a wall. On one side is God. On the other is mankind. Throughout history, man has attempted to reach God, but because of the wall He couldn't. However, God loved us so much He provided a door you and I could pass through. This way to God is through Jesus Christ who says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me."
That night I passed through the walls by committing my life to Jesus Christ. For the first time I began to sense that God did have a purpose for me. The key to that process is knowing His Word, the Bible. It's not a list of do's and don'ts, but rather a story of God's love and acceptance for you and me.
Throughout the Bible, God's truth comes alive; it's not a matter of how much faith I have, but rather knowing, personally, the object of my faith, Jesus Christ. Today, He continues to answer my prayers; He directs me, picks me up when I stumble, and gives me the strength to keep going. When I see God at work like this I come back to the simple yet profound truth of that familiar little song: "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so."
One of my greatest desires, as my children sing this song, is that they experience the truth of these words, as I have. And I want Kramer to grow up and know that his mom and dad could joyfully accept his birth, because we realize God created him, accepts him, and loves him just as he is. And that's exactly how God feels about you.