I wish to share an excerpt from one of the most helpful and powerful books I have ever read. The book’s title is A PLACE OF HEALING, and the author is one of us. Her name is Joni Eareckson Tada.
“…I’ve got lessons to learn, a character to be honed, other wounded people to identify with, a hurting world to reach with the gospel, and a suffering Savior with whom I can enjoy greater intimacy. And every bit of it genuine evidence of God’s love and grace” (p.20).
Suffering and pain is nothing new to us. We are the visible definition of the words. I write from a personal perspective of several decades of chronic suffering and pain. As long as God Will’s it, I will remain in this condition — but I am okay with my situation now. When we speak of disability(s) we should remember a few major points. For example:
A disability is a medical issue and not a Spiritual issue. Not everything has a sinful cause. However, sin can certainly make it worse.
We are made in the image of God. Our disability(s) in no way diminishes the image of God in us.
Courage is fear which has said it’s prayers.
Mental impairment does not mean crazy. Many people, even so-called professionals, believe people with disabilities (especially mental health issues) are out of touch with reality – but it simply isn’t true.
Christ Jesus cared and cares deeply about the body, mind, and spirit. God loves us in our brokenness and the proof is in our Bible.
Pastor’s and laity should talk about their personal struggles. Those that care about people with disabilities are the same people that truly care about other problems with our society.
Humans have a burden of self-reliance – we think if we can diagnose the problem, we can solve the problem. God rescues us from our troubles, not our own strength or ingenuity.
Negative ideas can arise in our minds without any effort on our part. One of Satan’s most effective weapons is the power of suggestion. He seeks every opportunity to stimulate unwholesome thoughts. We must learn to relax and trust God.
The examples shared are not exhaustive but meant to be truthful yet gentle reminders. They are included in this article, Healing Thoughts (1), because after decades of Bible study God revealed the stumbling rock in my path. No matter how much, how hard, or from which resources I drew from – there was just something that didn’t “click” with me in my understanding. Truthfully, lack of understanding affected my degree of belief and faith. My revelation — read and study God’s Word through myeyes! Scripture is so much clearer (understandable) now when God speaks His Word through the eyes of my disabilities. I can now engage with God in the midst of my disabilities relieving me of the pressure of trying to understand through someone else’s eyes and understanding. The Bible now speaks to me like it never has before. God’s Word in the Bible and I now have a two-way conversation. Through my eyes, I see all the broken people in Scripture and they are now speaking to me. I get it —God loves us in our brokenness and the proof is in our Bible.
No one can escape the cares of life. If negativity is left unmanaged, it will overwhelm us and cause untold damage physically, emotionally, and Spiritually. By the grace of God, we are provided with a way to manage the negativity in such a way it actually becomes a benefit. My disabilities are just labels. They are not my identity. The Bible makes it crystal clear that I am a child of God created in His image. I am exactly who and what I was created by God to be. He has a purpose for me which I do not need to understand or agree with. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote, 7“ Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.8For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be careful anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit” (Jer. 17:7-8, NKJV). Joni Eareckson Tada wrote, “God is God, and it is He and He alone who decides who will be healed and who will not”. She goes on to say, “Christ and the manner in which He approached suffering is to be our focus, especially when the weight of our cross seems overwhelming” (A PLACE OF HEALING, p. 49).