Disability and Spirituality
Disability, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, can really put an entirely different perspective on a person’s spiritual journey and their relationship with God. There seems to be a list of common reactions by people to a disability as it relates to their spiritual journey:
1. Why am I being punished?
2. What did I do to deserve this?
3. If there is a God, He wouldn’t let this happen.
4. If you heal me, I’ll attend church and read the Bible every single day.
5. God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.
6. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
7. God is molding you into a better person.
8. I am not ever praying to Him again.
I’m sure that you can add more to the list. What I see is that we silly humans seem to explain most of life’s challenges by blaming someone else [like God] or blaming ourselves for everything that happens.
I am not a theologian, but, I am a Christian. It is my belief that accidents can and do happen. Bad things do happen. Sometimes, we suffer consequences from our own actions; sometimes we suffer consequences from the actions of others. Blaming someone or something is a form of punishment. If the person to blame is punished and we get justice, everything will be great and return to the way it was. Unfortunately, as we have all seen, getting justice has never returned life back to the way it was before the injustice occurred.
I don’t believe God is responsible for my disability. I do not feel I’m being punished for my sins. It really doesn’t matter why or how this disability has happened. I am not seeking an explanation or to place blame for the situations I’ve experienced and that I deal with. I do believe that the Heavenly Father has provided me with all the tools necessary to adjust and adapt to this life with a disability. I want to continue to do the best with all the blessings that I receive every day. I have truly loving people in my life, I’ve been given skills, I get opportunities, I pray and I try to utilize all these to live a life that will make God proud.
I do believe that a disability free life is coming, and, I would absolutely prefer it sooner than later. God will fix it all, someday.
However, this doesn’t always bring comfort when you are suffering in pain, struggling to feed yourself or trying to remember your name. It doesn’t always bring comfort as you watch a loved one endure aches, pain, grief, embarrassment, humiliation, fatigue, or anger.
During the difficult times, turning to God for comfort, strength, healing, patience, relief, guidance or help can make the difference. Prayer can help you to find a better outlook. Prayer is an important part of building a relationship with God.
Once again, please share your experiences, opinions and insights with us on the blog.
Steven J. Smith, M.Ed.