“Then the Lord said to him (Moses), “Who made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD.” – Exodus 4:11
I think we could add a few more things to the end of that list.
- paralyzed from birth?
- cerebral palsy?
- brain damage?
- down syndrome?
Basically any form of being ‘disabled’ or handicapped. Who made them this way and why?
Go back up and read again what God says about the origin of these disabilities. It’s pretty straightforward: “Is it not I, the LORD.”
Are sinful people involved in some of these scenarios that lead to disabilities? Yes, of course.
But God stands above it all and doesn’t shy away from his sovereignty. The ultimate responsibility of the physical or mental condition of all mankind falls on God.
Maybe that feels like a radical statement.
People in Jesus’ day thought it was. Remember when they were asking him about the man born blind. They were asking whose sin it was that caused it. Jesus just says, “Nope. It’s not because of sin but because the glory of God might be shown.” And Jesus goes on to demonstrate that by healing the man on the spot.
DID JESUS HEAL EVERYONE?
So, assuming though there were other blind men in Jesus’ day that didn’t get healed, were Jesus’ words still true for them?
I think so.
God brings physical realities about in order to glorify himself.
Well what about Satan or demons? They caused epilepsy, remember? Yes, I do. And I would say they are the cause of problems in the world, yes, but they are not ultimate.
WHAT ABOUT SELENA'S CP?
And what about Selena? I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. When we met Selena, we did not know the extent of her disabilities. We found that out on our second trip back.
How did it make us feel? Love. It made us increase in our love for her. It’s really kind of hard to explain but that’s what it did for us. It drew us in even more.
I definitely don’t want to hide Selena’s disabilities, but there’s a part of me that really holds back from telling others how severe her condition is. People hear you are trying to adopt and the imaginary child in their mind is not an eight year old who cannot walk or talk…but that’s Selena.
- Selena will probably never be able to take care of herself.
- Selena will probably always need assistance.
Those are pretty serious sentences I just wrote. And don’t hear what I’m not saying…because I still, even today, pray that one day she would be able to walk and talk. But the truth is she has mental and physical disabilities and has for eight years.
So what hope do I have? What’s the meaning of that? Why?
Glory. God’s glory. Same thing Jesus said.
- God is glorified when his love is shown through us
- God is glorified when we help those who can’t help themselves
- God is glorified when we have to trust him through difficulty
God is glorified in disability.
I want to end with this video that really messes me up (in a good way of course). Every time I see it I go to the ugly cry at some point.
The key phrase for me is this sentence the mom says….”It’s amazing how much they blossom when you love them.” That’s glorious!!
Josh Walker (@joshdwalker) is the co-founder and owner of One Fifty Media House, a Houston, TX based Audio and Video Design Team. He is the writer and author of music products such as Family Devo, Grammar Time and Hymns For Selena. He is married to Angela and has two beautiful children: Nathan and Charity Joy.