Monday, March 16, 2015

Embracing Disability

I was touched yesterday morning when David's prayer before breakfast included “God, no matter whether Mommy's health is good or bad, please help her to persevere and to trust in You.” (my translation of his prayer in Chinese)

Later in the morning, after we had sung several praise songs together, Charly asked each of us to think of something we wanted to thank God for, and we went around the circle in a time of thanksgiving. 

David thanked God that He had arranged for him and Daniel to join our family, and that He had brought different kinds of healing: David's feet are much better than when he was born and Daniel has recovered a lot from his brain infection.

Then Charly asked us to think of people we wanted to pray for, and Daniel prayed for children who have been hurt. That God would help them to be better and that they would be resurrected.

Charly downloaded a free ebook for me called Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God by John Piper, and it really ministered to my heart yesterday. That book and these prayers of my boys, with their unique view on handicaps, pierced my heart in a way that I realized I have much to learn. How do I choose to see God's hands at work and view His goodness and sovereignty?

John Piper says, “One of the hardest things in life is the suffering of children, and the suffering of those who love them—especially when that early suffering turns into a lifetime of living with profound loss.”

“If God forsees and permits a conception that he knows will produce blindness, he has reasons for this permission. And those reasons are his purposes. His designs. His plans. God never has met a child from whom he had no plan. There are no accidents in God's mind or hands...There is no child and no suffering outside God's purposes.”

Our family is in the midst of transition right now. We are planning to move back to the US for at least a year, beginning this summer, in large part so that we can access special education, various therapies, and English as a Second Language resources for David and Daniel.

Yesterday I was struck with how great a desire I have when we're back in the US to learn from families of disabled children. I want to sit at their feet and hear their stories. I want to be asking God now--as we are trying to figure out where to live--to open up doors for us to make these kind of connections. Would you pray this with me? The Piper book includes three inspirational interviews with John Knight, the father of a teenage son who was born blind. I want to be able to connect with people like him, who wrote the vision statement, along with Bob Horning, for the disability ministry at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis:

“Our vision is that Bethlehem would display the supremacy of God in disability and suffering. We want our lives to reflect an unshakable joy in the Lord that allows us to embrace a life of suffering in disability for His purpose and glory. We want to shout that a life with a disability in Jesus is infinitely better than a healthy body without Him.”

I love that a church has this kind of vision statement!

When Jesus healed the man who was blind from birth, he said that the reason for his blindness was so “that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)

I pray that God would mold and shape my heart this coming year, so that His works in and through our family could be displayed more clearly as He enables me to better accept and embrace David and Daniel's disabilities.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Hope to spend time with you.

  2. Hope to spend time with you too, Ann!



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