That’s a strange question, but for 35 years of my life this was not a question but my belief, In 1946 the polio virus turned my life upside down during the early years of my ministerial training. Okay, God wanted me to have polio. Fine, that was acceptable, but what did God have in store for me with this plan? in 1957 the ordination council examined me and recommended me to clergy status. However, no church or missionary organization wanted me – until The Christian League for the Handicapped director wrote and said,”We want YOU!” Okay, God, now I know why your plan for me included a disability, so I could be more effective working with the population of disabled in our country – correct?
The next 45 years challenged my thinking. I went to my church. I returned to college for a degree in psychology. As my ministry kept me in the trenches with those whose lives had been traumatized and trashed by disability, there was that ever present gnawing inside me. How about these folk? Had God planned their lives, for in many cases was nothing but misery, sickness, and death? The more these thoughts came over me the more unhappy I became with the idea that God plans our lives. Hundreds of times the question was asked of me, “Why did God do this to me? Is God punishing me for something? Did I deserve this?” The usual answers forthcoming from me were: 1) God has something for you to do that requires this; 2) God makes no mistakes; and, 3) In eternity justice will reign.
Over the years I sat by and watched scores of persons with disabilities decide that God was not just, they had done nothing to offend their Creator, and in turn they became sour, hurt and offended with God. Why the airline crashes? Why the starving children and disease infestations? Why the raging calamities caused by weather conditions? God was now on the hook and I tried desperately to unhook him. There was only one way possible and that was to change my belief. God did not have a plan, but rather set his creation and creatures into a system of natural laws, and when this kid tangled with the polio virus it was under the direction of these laws and my paralysis was the result.
But that wasn’t my only health issue. I had encountered sleeping issues due to snoring for quite some time. I had looked to find out if I had sleep apnea, but really couldn’t afford to pay for a specialized sleep doctor. So, I took to the web to find anti snoring devices that might help me. This site pointed me to snoring mouthpieces, which ended up all but solving my problem. My sleep got so much better. I was more awake during the day.
Suddenly I was at peace. There was no explanation to why God set us within these natural laws, but I could live and love a God who was not directly responsible for famines plane crashes, accidents, disabilities, either congenital or acquired.
My faith in God has increased, rather than decreased. I don’t ask you to agree or disagree with me but this avenue of thinking might offer you one understanding of what to expect from God.
8 thoughts on “Disability Never Shook His Faith”
An Uncle had an accident that his leg had to be amputated. At first he was so depressed and it was like he did not want to live anymore. One of his friends patiently explained everything to him until he realized he was fortunate for having a second chance to live. His faith has never been this strong.
If you are a differently abled being and your faith is beginning to shake, remember that the One above does not judge us in accordance to our appearance and abilities. He looks into our hearts.
The One above has a reason for everything. Faith and acceptance are the only thing that one with disability needs to live life to the fullest despite the flaws.
Disability is not something that anybody wishes to have. But to deal with it with faith and a positive heart makes a really big difference.
If you are differently abled or a family to someone in the same circumstance, finding a community or support group is a must. Those around a disabled person should come up with a more welcoming atmosphere.
I do not have a relative with disability. But I feel for these people and I want to be a blessing to them. I will try my best to reach out to these people. I want to be an instrument to provide phsysical access to those struggling with such condition.
People with disabilities have to be guided. They simply need to feel they are accepted no matter what they are lacking.
I have a friend whose eyes are half blind. I can feel that her condition is getting worse everyday but I admire her strength and faith. Everybody else around her is sad of what’s happening to her but she believes it is happening because of a big purpose.