Something to get you thinking…
I suspect the following may well be controversial, but it got me thinking so I wanted to share it. It talks about gratitude and what we should be giving thanks for. “Your affliction falls well within the overarching decrees of God. It comes from His wise and kind hand and for that, you can give thanks. In it and for it.” — Joni Earekson Tada, from the Daily Devotional Email 19/11/12 Here’s the link to the original post.
Does God ‘give’ disability, or just ‘allow’ it?
So, does God give us our afflictions, in my case physical disability, and chronic illness, amoungst other things.Joni’s reasons for reaching her conclusion is that the daily grind with her quadraplegia brings her to God minute by minute, Another reason she gives is that God’s Word asks us to give thanks for everything so for her the ‘everything’ includes being thankful for her disability. The sovereignty of God means her suffering through her disability is not somehow separate either, as God is also Lord of her disability. Also, instead of having her quiet time and then getting on with her life, it forces her to live out her faith wheeling close to her Saviour, as i read the other morning in “More Precious than Silver Daily Devotional e-book.
I do absolutely recognise the logic of her argument. If God is Lord over everything, that includes my disability… but to give thanks for it, specifically?! I do thank the Lord he is using my disability to teach me how to depend on Him for everything, and how to ask others for the help I need without becoming so dependent on them, that I shut God out. I recognise it is God who has walked me through the four years since my operation which gave me a bag on my tummy, and eventually meant I needed carers, and an electric wheelchair amongst other things. Indeed, it is God who gives me my very life, my very breath, and if he chose to, he could take me home to be with Him in an instant, but did he give me my disability, something which gives me so much pain, and tiredness, and so limits my life? He is using it for his Glory, and to help me to help others, as you can read here, if you haven’t already.
if He did not give me disability, then how could he include it within His plan for my life? Indeed, God knew what each day of my life would bring before I was even born. (Psalm 139) I cannot reconcile this with God giving me my disability though. I would so like to know everyone’s thoughts on this, and work through it together. In the meantime, here are the verses from God’s Word that inspired the text of which I write.
19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)