my views on disability and the christian life

This article started out being about divine healing, but it turned into more than that. The more I wrote the more expansive it became. I hope someone enjoys this post, I plan to write more in the future.
Divine healing is a complicated subject, and I can’t claim to do the topic justice in one article, nor do I want to, but I do want to give some thoughts as I am sure some are wondering how I can be a christian and a blind person at the same time. In short, I do not think that my blindness is in any way incompatible with a holy and sovereign god. In this article I will attempt to explain to my sighted friends the disability community’s somewhat violent reaction to supposed healings and then my own views on the subject, which may be considered controversial by some.

the disability community’s reaction to healing

I recognize that the disability community is a very diverse community and I don’t claim to speak for everyone, but I think in this case what I will say below is true for the majority of people. Most disabled people are put off by people asking if they can pray for them to be healed or laying on of hands, etc. I have not run into people like this personally, the christian circles I run in tend to be more baptist in origin and don’t believe in healing gifts through individuals, but I have heard of enough blind and other disabled people out there who have to know that it occurs with some regularity. A big reason for our antagonism toward healing is the annoying way that most people go about it. They will not take no for an answer, refuse to go away, are prideful, etc. But there is a deeper reason also. This will be hard for nondisabled people to understand, but many disabled people see their disability as part of their identity. They fear if you take away their disability you will alter them as a person. I have read some claim that Jesus was a poor spokesman for the disabled since all he did was heal them, and many disabled people claim they do not want healing and do so quite sincerely.

Not By Design

What I am about to say is blunt and will probably make some of my disabled friends mad, and for that I am sad, but I feel it needs to be said. Disability was not part of the plan for this world at creation. If you look at the beginning of Genesis, everything that God made was initially very good. It is man who ate of the tree in the garden of Edin and corrupted this world and separated himself from God. It was at this point that disability, pain, suffering, etc. was introduced into the world. So if disability was not part of God’s plan for the world, we should not be basing our entire identity on it. I am not saying that we should necessarily seek all healing for our disability should that be possible. Other factors must be weighed. For example, if I were able to get my sight back but I would have to pay a crushing financial penalty the rest of my life and be a scientific guinea pig forever, I’ll pass. But we should be more honest about he limitations disability places on us and more open to healing or even things that could help alleviate disability that are not healing per say. I am certainly not saying, as no doubt some will accuse me of saying, that lives as disabled people are necessarily terrible, and I realize that everyone has limitations, but our lives as disabled people are limited compared to those who do not have disabilities, all other things being equal. Having said that, this point is moot because all things are never equal, and it is not good to think this way (we live in the real world not a fantasy one and must make the best of the hand we are dealt) but I bring it up only to say that disability should be seen for what it is, a limitation and not a badge of pride to be worn as a chip on our shoulder.

Disability Makes Us Long For Heaven

God makes it clear that there will be no more sin or disability in heaven. (See Isaiah 35:5-6). I cannot wait till I get to heaven and can see, hear fully, and walk without difficulty. That doesn’t mean that I will never seek healing here on Earth, but even the healing I would get on Earth will never compare to the healing I will get from God someday. The time we have on this Earth is a flash compared to the eternity we will spend in heaven if we have trusted Jesus as our savior.

Do I want healing?

Some of you may be asking if I wish to be healed? The answer is complicated. I do not object if someone wishes to pray for my healing, no doubt some who know me probably have. I do not personally pray for my own healing, but I know that if God wishes to heal me he could do so in an instant. God is sovereign over all things including my blindness. I know God uses all things to work together for his glory (See Romans 8:28) and that includes my blindness. I am choosing to trust God in his sovereign will and know whatever he chooses to do with my life will be for my good and His glory.

Trusting Christ as Savior

I would urge all of my disabled and nondisabled friends to consider whether they have trusted Christ as their savior. The bible says that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and therefore are all separate from God. The wages of our sin is death (Romans 6:23), but the gift of God is eternal life. God so loved the world that he sent his only son so that those who believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16.) anyone who calls on the name of the lord shall be saved (acts 16:31) Man God bless you all.

Further Reading

If you wish to read another inciteful article on this topic, and for other great answers to bible questions, take a look at this article:
Why does God allow people to be disabled / handicapped?

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