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Coping with Disability!

To every man created, God gave His Spirit. The Bible says: “But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.”(Job 32:8).

Also a few verses down it says: “The Spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4).

Before anyone comes into existence through human conception, he/she had been conceived by God. God has determined who they will be; how they are going to live and die, and what they will be. That is why the Bible says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Whether or not we are born whole and fully functional is predetermined by God. If we are to be born with any disability, whether or not our disability will last for a lifetime or only for a fraction of it, God had also determined that. That is part of the purpose for which he made each and every one of us. Does this mean that our decisions in life do not contribute to what happens in our lives? Our decisions in life do contribute to the results we obtain in life, and God has already factored that in. He will always hold us accountable for the things we do in life, for we have each been given a will that allows us to make choices.

At every juncture in our lives, He gives us choices: to listen to Him and obey His commands so that it may go well with us, or to continue to do things on our own and ride the tides of uncertainties of life and deal with whatever we were able to catch. Our decisions at each juncture determine the direction of our lives. The predetermination means that if you seek God in your life, His purpose for your life becomes clear and you live in accordance to that purpose and fulfill your destiny.

But if you decide to live life your way, God continues to redirect you through your spirit. If you however, listen to your spirit and follow God’s direction as communicated to you through your spirit, your conflicting is dissolved, and normal feelings are restored. And because of God’s predestination for your life, things begin to line up quickly so you can get back on course. You can never go too far away from the chosen course for your life, because as soon as you come back to God, He moves everything around to allow you to regain your purpose in life. That is what love is all about, and nobody can give it like God.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding anybody’s birth, everyone was already a thought in God’s mind before he is born. God decides how you are going to be born, who your father and mother will be, and how your life is going to go. He does not create any one and assign them to a life of sin. God does not treat anybody unfairly. Even a child born out of wedlock, or as a result of a very bad ethical situation, is treated with the same great love by God.

It is not the predestination that brings difficulties into a child’s life after he/she was born; it is the circumstances that existed in the parents’ lives at the time of the child’s birth that determines what problems the child will be faced with. Even in the worst of situations, God follows the child closely as he/she goes through life, providing what is necessary to make his/her life bearable.

Why does God allow a child to be born into abject poverty or horrible moral conditions? Because God created the world such that certain actions could result in certain outcomes. For instance, when a man and a woman have conjugal relationship, having a baby is a designated outcome. If their action coincides with predetermined natural events, a baby is the result of their action, even though that outcome may not have been intended by them — like unplanned pregnancies. God does not leave everything to us to decide. Things are always what he created them to be, whether we put that into consideration in our actions, or not.

If the result of our action qualifies for a baby, a baby follows. God knows what we are doing every moment of our lives. Everything He sets up always happens as He sets it up to work. If a baby should be the outcome of our action, He gives us a baby, with all the blessings the Baby deserves as a soul that is pure and sinless. And one hundred percent (100%) treasure is set aside for the baby in heaven.

It is life on earth that takes blessing away from us. As we grow and mature and get into life, we begin to lose part of the treasure, pick up a few points here and there, and lose some more. The net total of our loss depends on where we have been, how we have conducted our lives in obedience to God, and how much of what we amass on earth we give to others in need. That is why Jesus Christ told us that heaven belongs to little ones like these. They are innocent! Their lives are pure. They do not know sin. They show the same emotions that grownups show, but they do not carry them around and plot evil with them. They do not remind themselves to take revenge. Rather, they quickly forget and become friends again with someone that wrongs them.

If their lives are recalled by God at that age, heaven receives them in glorious welcome and 100% treasure is bestowed on them. They are the best model for humanity, yet we take them for granted, and many times, mistreat them, either out of frustration from all the pressures we face in our lives; or out of derangement because we have power over them. That is why Jesus Christ told us “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” (Mark 9:42).

As the children develop, they begin to copy what they witness from the grownups around them. They begin to live and act like the grownups and begin to lose part of the treasures stored up for them in heaven.

When a child is born disabled, God allows the disability to happen for a reason. Every soul he created is perfect. The body he assigns to each soul is created perfect as well, but like in everything He made, preexisting conditions and consequences could lead to distortion of the body, not the soul and not the spirit. The spirit cannot be affected because it is of God and nothing has the power to corrupt the spirit. The spirit in us cannot be made to conform to anything because that spirit in us is actually God in us.

And nothing a human being does could affect God. The soul on the other hand can only be corrupted by its own will. And since a newly born baby’s will is not yet developed, his soul cannot be corrupted by his undeveloped will. That can be seen in the following passage from the Bible: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right.” (Isaiah 7:14-15) .

The underlined portion of the passage above underscores the point I am making here. Nothing can be held against any child until he or she develops the capacity to “reject the wrong and choose the right”. Therefore any child born with mental disability will never have anything held against him, because he lacks the capacity to understand wrong from right. As such, his entire life on earth is sinless and his reward in heaven is one hundred percent. God, allowed the child to be born with such a disability for reasons only known to Him, but He readily and generously compensates the child as soon as the child leaves this life and enters eternity — that is, if God chooses not to correct the infirmity for the child while he is still in this world.

A baby’s soul also cannot be corrupted by any preexisting conditions or consequences arising from them. In essence, every child that is born has a soul that is pure and sinless; and is very close to God’s heart, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the child’s birth.

When a child is born mentally disabled, to us, it signifies pain and sorrow for the child and the parents and lost opportunities in life. It has become this way for us because we have learned to define success in life without God as a part of it. Success has come to mean good natural endowment, good education, good jobs and careers, lots of money, lots of materials and unending pleasure. Recognition for our wits and wizardry and a good position in the society has become the gold standard. Mental disability, then, becomes someone’s bad luck.

To God, however, a mentally disabled child is a jewel, an incorruptible soul, an angel in the midst of a sinful world, and the only soul on earth that knows no sin. He is holiness all around, and has 100% treasure stored away for him in heaven. He does not have any capacity to do any evil thing. He hurts no one, thinks badly about no one, hold grudges against no one, and plans no revenge against no one. The only evil around him is that which is done to him by others around him.

When he groans or cries out in discomfort, there is no evil intent in his heart, he is simply reacting to physical stresses in his body. His spirit is completely tied to God’s Spirit who safeguards his soul every minute of his life. A mentally disabled child remains pure and sinless because his will remains undeveloped. And as a result, his soul remains holy and blameless.

God also counts all the other disabilities for something. To be disabled is to have something taken away from someone that he would have used to do something profitable for his life. Since each soul is designed to have a complete body, any soul that enters the world with something less than that complete body, has an equivalence of what he is lacking saved up for him in heaven as treasure.

Does it mean God is trading body parts for treasure? No! He is compensating the soul for what he will lose as a result of not having that body part and the ability that comes with it; specifically because the soul does not have it, not because of anything the soul has done, but because of circumstances that existed before the soul was even conceived. Everything God created, He made with love and perfection. Imperfection is the result of sin, and sin entered the world through Adam and Eve and has multiplied since then.

It is important to remember that disabilities in our lives may be due to a number of reasons. Some disabilities are brought on us by others we cross path with in life, accidentally or purposely, and God allows the disability to happen. What Jesus said in the gospel of John about the man that was blind from birth whose sight He restored explains it all. His disciples asked: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:1-2).

And Jesus answered: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3).It is important to recognize also that disability can be the result of the choices we make in life, whether or not we anticipate that the outcome could be that life-changing.

Trying to decide what caused a disability in another person’s life is tantamount to judging the person. Nobody has the right to judge anyone. We are also restricted from gloating over anybody’s plight in life. Instead, we are asked to lend a hand to help make their situations more manageable. Jesus Christ said to His disciples about the Galileans whose blood has been mixed with their sacrifices by Pilate: 

“Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the Tower in Siloam fell on them — do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:2-5).

Therefore, the disability or any other less fortunate situation that exists in anyone’s life is not a reflection of the person’s sins. That is not the kind of information that is intended for any of us to know, because we are prone to errors and would misuse any such knowledge.

But whether it was brought about by situations in our lives (like drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, etc.) or brought into our lives by someone else (like car accidents and other form of accidents, malice, abuse, or other forms of maltreatment), God still knows about it before it happens. And if He allowed it to happen in your life, there is a purpose for that and God can work with you to straighten things out.

If the disability is on your child, know one thing for certain: God, who allows your child to be affected by the disability, would not allow your child to carry that yoke alone. Whatever the circumstances might be, God will be there with the child and get him through the difficulties. Also know that although the child’s disability appears to be a loss, it is not. Whatever is taken from the child in this life (or withheld from him, if he was born with it), has its equivalence, in treasures, reserved for the child in heaven. Just teach your child to live gracefully, with his disability, and to always honor God, because his treasures await him in heaven.

A child born normal has everything to gain on earth but everything to lose in heaven. A child born with mental disability has everything to lose on earth but everything to gain in heaven. What is an advantage to one child is a disadvantage to the other child. A normal child grows into the things of the world, sucked full strength into the exploits of the great deceiver.

The child is completely drawn into life, the pursuit of pleasures and the need to gain on others for material rewards and self-aggrandizement. In the process, he falls and falters, picking up both emotional and physical pains, dusting off and falling back again. Sometimes, he is successful, changes his ways and comes back to his Maker. Sometimes he completely loses out, and ends up in the wrong eternity — when the devil got a better part of him.

Whereas, a child born with mental infirmity stays close to His Maker, knows nothing about the world and is never affected by anything the devil could come up with. In as much as it breaks our hearts to see our child nonresponsive to normal life stimuli, the child is one leg ahead of everybody else in the area of salvation and eternal life. He is in! He has always been from day one! May God bless his soul!

If you are a grown person and have some sort of coping with disability, take heart. If God does not correct it for you, He will use it for you. God, like our earthly fathers, does not enjoy our sufferings. It actually breaks His heart. “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?”(Ezekiel 18:23).

And a little further down on the same chapter, He said “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! (Ezekiel 18:30-32).

In the same way, God does not enjoy our disfigurement or disability. Listen to Him and obey Him. If He does not change your situation, He will use it for His glory.

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