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    HANDICAP

    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 him greatly.

    Our Daily Bread, April 6, 1994.