Let’s be frank. Disability isn’t usually something glamorous.
If it was, you’d see way more girls with hot pink wheelchairs. But disability isn’t glamorous or a fad according to worldly standards. Instead, it’s often looked down upon.
It’s easy to see why. I can tell you about the number of times things have gone south for me. I’ve lost my grip in public places like museums and schools, where the noise is so much I just want to scream. I can tell you about the overpowering attacks of panic nearly insurmountable in a conversation for no reason whatsoever. I can tell you of the friends I’ve lost thanks to my oh-so-adept skills in the jungles of respectable social interaction. Some days, it’s just too much.
And in the dark, I start to wonder:
How can I ever get through college like this? Will I be able to hold a job? Get married? Will anyone even love me?
Sometimes even that angry, dark question bubbles up inside. Why God, am I even like this?
But then I stop. And I remember.
The Truth About God–And Us
The Bible makes the answer clear that the making of our parts, both inner and outer, was not a mistake. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. And before you were born, I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5).God makes it clear that his creations are never a mistake. No misshapenness or miscalculations. His children are as he intended, his perfect, refining instruments for divine revelation. Click To Tweet
Dear brothers and sisters, God makes it clear that his creations are never a mistake. No misshapenness or miscalculations. His children are as He intended, his perfect, refining instruments for divine revelation. While our bodies are crippled by the poison of sin, every step taken is an imperfect step the perfect King has set for us. We, his children, whether disabled or not, are both set apart to lean on each others shoulders as we share this blessing and burden. But it doesn’t end there.
Hope in Suffering
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).
Suffering, in this sense, can mean many things. It can mean grievous torture as suffered by the martyrs of past and present times, or bowing to humility and asking someone to help you climb into your own car seat. It can mean lying helpless with hunger or swallowing the rage of inadequacy. Because, in reality, that’s what it comes back to for all of humanity. Helplessness. Weakness. But, is it truly a weakness? Is it weakness to not see or think as others when the life of an everlasting King dwells with full power inside with your soul?
The truth is this: it’s still hard. It’s still frustrating. It’s still downright annoying just to ask for help with something as simple as walk down a hallway. Then again, isn’t that what all humanity is? Dependent on Christ? Perhaps we who are disabled are just more outwardly dependent on him. Perhaps, this disability is there to bud, like roses in the midst of thorns, his strength in our weakness. Perhaps, even more so, it is to shine a greater strength than any full body or conscious mind could muster in our frail mortal houses.
To lead with no legs.
For the blind to claim sight in the Lord.
To strive with no strength.
For the sick to sing It is Well with My Soul.
To love when it breaks.
And for the mute to laugh with mirth because they speak for the Lord.
Indeed, it is all the more beautiful, glorious, and great when we point up and say, “No, look up. That’s where it comes from.”
Now it’s Your Turn
So I ask you this question: Is disability in the eyes of God even a disability? Could this role of weakness be not a disadvantage, but an advantage? Indeed, brothers and sisters, it is an advantage in and through the great Jesus Christ, because of our dependence on him who made us to crawl, or stumble, or mumble in profound unseeable ways. Forever and always, for his indescribable glory.