So long as there have been people on this earth, there have been people with disabilities and impairments. From Moses having a stutter in the old testament to the blind and lame beggars in the new testament.
But the question is. “do these people really need to be ‘fixed’?” Or should we just accept and love how God made or planned for these people to be?
The bible mentions that as God’s creation, we are made in His image and He had us planned before we were even conceived. “So God created mankind in His own image. In the image of God he created them.” (Genesis chapter 1, verse 27)
Since God made us in His image and He never makes mistakes, what does this mean for those people who have disabilities? Are they created in God's image too?
Love thy neighbour
As Christians we know that the bible teaches us that one of the most important commandments is: “Love your neighbour as yourself. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one commandment.” (Galatians chapter 5, verse 14).
So by suggesting that a disabled person is not “normal” and requires “fixing,” are we truly loving our neighbour? Or are we questioning how God has made them?
There are plenty of Christians out there who have either been born with, or later acquired a disability of some sort.
One example is evangelist Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni became a tetraplegic after a diving accident. Since then she has become an advocate for the disabled and has been outspoken about her feelings about her situation.
“My wheelchair is the key to seeing all of this happen. Especially since God's power shows up best in weaknesses. So here I sit, glad that I have not been healed on the outside. But glad that I have been healed on the inside. Healed from my own self centred wants and wishes.”
So if somebody as high profile as Joni Eareckson Tada is accepting of her own disability, shouldn't we as Christians be doing the same? Shouldn't we be willing to look beyond disabilities and accept those people based on who they are, not on what they have?
I have had plenty of experiences with disabilities, having been diagnosed with Epilepsy as a young child. Despite this, I have still managed to live a fairly normal life. Unfortunately I have also been on the receiving end of criticism from fellow Christians, who struggle to comprehend my personal choice not to go for a healing.
My reason is simply this: I have no doubts about God's ability to heal me. I just trust Him to do so in His own timing. I am no different from anybody else and I don't believe that God loves me any less because of my Epilepsy.
In the bible there are examples of people who are different or seemingly inadequate who God uses to achieve great things. Moses struggled with speech and had a stutter. Yet God did not fix him right away. He gave Moses the strength and assistance needed to confront the Pharaoh,
He also gave him a helper in the form of his brother Aaron. “But Lord! Moses objected. My own people won't listen to me anymore! How can I expect the Pharaoh to listen? I'm such a clumsy speaker!” (Exodus chapter 6, verse 12).
So if God accepted Moses who was a stutterer, then surely He accepts all people who have disabilities for who they are? Since God sets this example for us, then we as Christians should be doing the same! Sometimes it is through these challenges, that we grow closer to the one who created us to be this way!
My name is Kate and I love gardening, exercising, and being involved with my church social groups. I have loved to write from a young age, and took up poetry as a teenager. I have recently got married and am enjoying getting used to married life.