Why Does God Allow Disability to Happen?
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. John 9:1-3 from The Message
Unfortunately some Christians think that that every illness or disability must be the result of a lack of faith or sin in a person’s life. What a discouraging burden to put on someone who’s already struggling!
We don’t become disabled because we’re being punished for something. Neither are we defective because even in our disability, we’re fearfully and wonderfully made and God has a plan and a purpose for our lives.
I don’t like living with chronic illness, pain or suffering. I’d take the healing in a minute. But I’ve come to the place that God allows suffering for His purpose. I’ve learned many life lessons as a special needs mom and as a person with a disability. It’s taught me to be patient and to persevere. It’s deepened my prayer life. And it has given me a deeper compassion for the marginalized in our society which is also the heart of God.
Being disabled with dystonia and ulcerative colitis has also forced me to accept my limits and not be so self sufficient which in all honesty, I hate. I don’t want to need anybody or ask for help, but when I became incapacitated for a time there wasn’t much choice but to learn to rest in God’s care and provision.
God can use any and every illness or disability to bring glory to His name. At times He may do that through a physical healing but sometimes He works in the situation by giving you the supernatural strength to persevere to keep on going even when you’re struggling with chronic illness or disability.
I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations…At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Excerpt from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 The Message
Living with disability is so hard. I have days where I’m functioning relatively well and other days where I’m leveled. It’s depressing and lonely at times. But God has been my strength throughout my disability journey and He has always been faithful to provide.
Speaking from my experience as a special needs mom, we’ve been blessed to meet so many amazing people who are on the journey with us and those who come along aside to minister to families like ours. My son has become my greatest spiritual teacher. Of course some days are still difficult. Having a disability like ulcerative colitis which demands that I locate a bathroom within 5 minutes of feeling the urge makes taking my son out to be very challenging, especially now that he’s an adult.
I’ll never know this side of heaven why I had to experience disability on top of the demands of being a special needs mom. I feel very helpless at times, but I know that He will be with me on the path as I continue on this journey. All I have to do is remember to abide in Him, and to continue in prayer and meditation to seek His will for my life.
God, this is hard to ask but let me rejoice in illness and in disability, even as I pray for healing and practice self care, for I know the plans You have for me are good. Use my disability to bring You glory in all I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.