Are birth defects a work of Satan?

Birth defects happen because of genetic accidents. Both biology and physics reveal a certain degree of randomness in our world. This is not the work of Satan. Yet we must agree with Jesus that such things may happen “so that the glory of God may be revealed” (John 9:3). This hardly means that God allowed birth defects in order to bring glory to himself, as though he were tinkering with his creations, but simply to affirm our faith that even in this God can be glorified. It is an opportunity for grace and for ministry.

Of course, many birth defects are operable; for example, a cleft palate can almost always be repaired quite successfully. Birth defects may be repaired or not; the Scriptures nowhere say that we are perfectly made. Nor is physical perfection necessary for us to be (or reflect) the image of God. Yet every one of us is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139)!