"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
If you are reading this today and are disabled, you have been told or made to feel at some point that you were a mistake. You have felt left out, abandoned, frustrated, depressed, and discouraged. You have also gotten the short end of the stick in the labor market as well. With everyone sticking hands out for help in today’s economy getting help isn’t easy either. Physically impaired people are told you have the ability to work by government agencies, but then aren’t hired because companies believe they can’t use a person tied to a wheelchair or walking device. With all the new laws that the government has made lately, you would think that they would want to enhance your life rather than complicate it. The world leaves you with very little options to really think highly of yourself after so many rejections. However, there are some things I would like to point out about how God feels regarding anyone with disabilities no matter their physical set back or mental impairment. God never makes mistakes in his design. With that being said, you were “created in God’s own image”. Your weakness are upheld by His power and your strengths reveal His character. What many in the world often forget is that right after children, God often placed an emphasis on those who were disabled by many conditions and circumstances.
First, I would like to apologize if anyone has ever told you that if you’re disabled that it was a mistake by God. The only flaws are those which man identifies as a flaw according to his standards. God doesn’t make mistakes, only testimonies. Disabilities are often unique to a person because it is a part of their personal testimony. Whatever your situation may be, there is potential for the love of God to shine through. Even if someone can’t comprehend exactly who God is, the joy and grace shown in their lives are often rays of hope to everyone who come into contact with them on a daily basis. Although I’m not disabled myself, I had the awesome experience of being highly involved in a special needs class while I was growing up. My family member who was a part of that class asked me to come with him to an event one day. I had no idea that God would use the opportunity to help me understand disabilities that would one day be represented at Salvation’s Call. We have visitors from around the world who range from every day Joe’s to those who are not able to leave their residences at all. It is a wonderful opportunity to serve such a widely represented ministry and I thank God for it. Serving those children at that school and being with them gave me such joy and a sense of importance. It wasn’t really about what I was doing for them, but rather being around them made me feel good. They would always smile no matter how their day had been. Those children thought everyone was important regardless of their social standing. They didn’t care whether I wore name brand clothing, was rich, or poor. They liked me for who I really was. There was another man who once walked the earth, but now resides in heaven that displayed these awesome traits. His name was Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t care who you were or what you had, but rather how much faith you had. He understood as our creator that every man was created in God’s image. Most of all, He knew the sacrifice it would take to provide salvation for even the lowliest of men. He understood that people had infirmities not because God makes mistakes; but that there was sin, death, and sickness present in the world since the fall of Adam. He turned those infirmities and conditions into testimonies. Scriptures such as John 5:5-8, where Jesus tells the man with infirmities to “Rise, pick up your bed and walk”. Your situation certainly contains a testimony this day!
Do not overly concern yourself with the attributes or abilities you lack, but rather your strengths which God can use for the building of his kingdom. That’s right, I just told you that you are a highly valued asset to God’s Kingdom. Did you think the Great Commission was only for people who could walk without assistance or see without a service dog? If a blind man tells me that, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18), of course I am more willing to receive it. Here is a man telling me that what I see is temporal, but the things of eternal I can’t see. The same could hold true for you, that your strengths speak volumes regarding real life applications of God’s Word. He just didn’t tell the man to take up his bed and rise as He did in John 5:5-8 just to heal him, but to provide a testimony giving glory to God. People most likely sought and obtained salvation that day because of that man’s testimony. Of course, having a testimony does not necessarily mean we will be instantly healed. I have personally struggled with a medical condition that I now understand as a “thorn in my side” as was in Paul’s to keep me humble. I have had many hours sitting in doctor offices and hospitals, but it keeps me humble and centered on Christ. God knew if he made me perfectly health I would have ran off to the military years ago and stayed. That was my life career goal, but due to medical restrictions I couldn’t even be drafted if the whole world was at war. You may have wanted badly to be another occupation or even to just be able to walk on your own, but God is using your weakness in body to bring out His glory in your testimony. If we submit to His will for our lives, systematically He will begin to allow the revelation of what you were made for to come to past in your life.
When all else fails and you feel worthless to the world, remember that God places the “least of these” at the top of His priority order (Matthew 25:40). This means when you feel low down and the “least”, God is with you the most. Wherever you are in life, no matter how far you have fallen is never too far for Jesus to reach out his hand to pull you up. God loves you dearly as his child, willing to sacrifice “His only begotten Son” to see that we have a means of salvation. Do not forsake this opportunity based on your infirmities and weakness for Paul says, “therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Then again in verse 10 he says, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Be strong in your weakness, hold on to Christ, because you’re the child of a King!
John 5:5-8 (KJV)
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (KJV)
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (KJV)
12 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.