Living with a disability can present a number of unique challenges. But as Christians, we have the wonderful possibility of facing them with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
One major problem that a disabled person faces is self-image. I have epilepsy and get petit mal seizures five or six times per month. It’s not your typical lifestyle. Seizures limit me many times from carrying out everything I would like to do. My schedule has to be flexible. And a few times persons have even expressed fear of me due to epilepsy. After all, it’s abnormal. Some people define me as ‘an epileptic’ – as if that is the main point about who I am. But it’s not me, it’s just something I live with.
What does the Lord say?
“You are made in My image. I chose you.” Can that be? Yes, God’s Word assures me that He wants me as His child. There is so much security and comfort in that. He is not ashamed of me. He wants me and I find so much joy in knowing that! He looks at me with love and accepts me as I am.
Another problem can be loneliness. As a single Christian, I find it comes up at times. And even for those married, you encounter it. Having a disability can make it worse because it often makes it more difficult to go out and meet others. What does Jesus say about this?
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” He assures us. Knowing that Jesus is with us even when no one else is matters very much indeed. “And lo, I am with you always, unto the close of the age,” He tells us at the end of the book of Matthew. Knowing that He is with us and wants to be, makes all the difference in the world.
There are also many things that limit a disabled person in a practical sense. Everyday tasks like getting groceries, cooking, or getting around can be so much more difficult. And because of those limitations, I am not always able to perform up to my best.
Jesus tells me His way of looking at me is different than the world’s standard. Remember His parable of the poor widow who gave only two pennies? Jesus said that she gave much more than all the rest because she gave out of her lack. The Heavenly Father saw her heart. Sometimes I feel like I give so little. And yet the Heavenly Father has his own way of weighing things. He alone knows the state of my heart.
Security in Jesus
Finally, there is the question of security. I can get a seizure anywhere. I can fall in the street. But Jesus is with me and He is my security. Every day I start out with Him even before getting out of bed. And I finish with Him, giving Him my sleep.
The very best way to deal with a disabled life is to put it in the hands of the Lord and let Him take care of things!