Hypothetical question! Would your view of God change if you found out He was a wheelchair user? Give it a minute and think about it before you answer this question. I’d like to believe we would say, “No! my view of God would absolutely not change.” But would it?
Consider President Franklin Delano Rosevelt. President FDR is renowned as the leader who steered America through the Great Depression and World War II. During his time in office, he was unable to walk unaided and was reliant on a wheelchair in private.
The White House sought to suppress photographs of the president in a wheelchair out of the public eye, and the Secret Service destroyed pictures taken by journalists defying the request.
Roosevelt even hit the campaign trail while maintaining the pretense that he could walk, using a variety of devices to maintain the illusion.
Ask yourself, why would he go to such lengths to hide his disability?
He feared that being disabled would disqualify him from being the President of the United States. He feared that people would see him as unfit for office or too weak to lead the nation through such paralysis times.
There is a prevalent negative view about disability that has existed from the beginning of time. This is undeniable.
Now back to my original question. Would your view of God change if you found out He was a wheelchair user?
Now read Daniel 7:9.
“As I looked, thrones were put in their places. And God, the Eternal One, sat on his throne. His clothes were white like snow. And the hair on his head was white like wool. His throne was made from fire. And the wheels of his throne were blazing with fire.”
Daniel sees a vision of God in one of his dreams. He did not have to point out the details of the wheels on the throne of God, but he did. The question is why?
Before we answer that question, can we find other descriptions of wheels in the Bible related to God in heaven? The answer is yes! In Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10, Ezekiel goes into great detail about the wheels he sees in heaven. He describes that the wheels are living creatures covered with eyes. Wild!
What does it all mean?
Why would God need wheels on His thrones?
Have you ever seen a throne with wheels before?
Am I suggesting that God is disabled or a wheelchair user?
Does it matter to you? Should it?
Would it change your view of God if true?
That answer is… We do not know. I know that probably is not the answer you were looking for. Sorry to let you down. All we can do is draw from Scripture what it says. Here is what we know. Scripture clearly tells us that His throne has wheels. The question is why?
Theologians and commentators would say that the wheels are symbolic of God’s omnipresence and omniscience. Omnipresent is the ability to be present everywhere at the same time. Omniscient is the ability to have complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.
Does that explanation satisfy your suspicion?
I do think it is a satisfactory explanation. But I am still left wondering. Forgive my curiosity.
Back to Franklin Delano Rosevelt. Was he less of a leader because of his disability? Absolutely not! He was just the leader that America needed during the Great Depression and World War II. FDR is a great inspiration for all people proving that disability does not disqualify you from chasing your dreams even if those dreams are holding the highest office in all the world.
What if there was more to the wheels of God’s throne?
Imagine what that would mean for the theology of disability, the narrative about disability throughout human history, and for every living person who experiences disability in their lifetimes. Would it not be world-changing? I dare you to tell me that it would not be. I would go as far as to say that it would be one of the greatest revelations of all time.
Will we have the final answer on this subject on this side of heaven? No.
Should we always search Scripture with an open mind? Yes!
God is so much bigger than our finite minds could ever comprehend. To put Him in a box is always a poor decision.
Keep searching. Never stop asking questions. Pray for wisdom.