The greatest obstacle to being handicapped--or challenged, or disabled or whatever
label we may be using this year--is not the condition but the stigma society still
associates with it. The truth is we are valuable because of who we are, not because of how
we look or what we accomplish. And that applies to all of us, the disabled and the
temporarily able-bodied alike. I'm convinced God didn't turn His back at the moment of
Jeff's conception. He is still the God of miracles, but in this instance, the one who
received healing was me. Our Lord is still in the business of changing lives, but not
always in the ways we expect. Several years ago, Jeff played in a special Little League
for kids with disabilities. After many seasons of watching from the bleachers and rooting
while his big brother played ball, Jeff's opportunity finally arrived. When he received
his uniform, he couldn't wait to get home to put it on.
When he raced out from his bedroom, fully suited up, he announced to me, "Mom, now
I'm a real boy!" Though his words pushed my heart to my throat, I assured him he had
always been a "real boy."
Carlene Mattson, Focus on the Family, April, 1993, p. 13.
A British factory worker and his wife were excited when, after many years of marriage,
they discovered they were going to have their first child. According to author Jill
Briscoe, who told this true story, the man eagerly relayed the good news to his fellow
workers. He told them God had answered his prayers. But they made fun of him for asking
God for a child.
When the baby was born, he was diagnosed as having Down's syndrome. As the father made
his way to work for the first time after the birth, he wondered how to face his
co-workers. "God, please give me wisdom," he prayed. Just as he feared, some
said mockingly, "So, God gave you this child!" The new father stood for a long
time, silently asking God for help. At last he said, "I'm glad the Lord gave this
child to me and not to you."
As this man accepted his disabled son as God's gift to him, so David was pleased to
show kindness to Saul's son who was "lame in his feet" (2 Sam. 9:3). Some may
have rejected Mephibosheth because he was lame, but David's action showed that he valued
Our Daily Bread, April 6, 1994.