October 9, 2018

All children have special needs. Every human being comes with unique and individual needs. Their distinctive circumstances and personalities may bring certain challenges, but they also grant irreplaceable blessings. Where sin sees others—with or without disabilities—as threats to personal desires and priorities, Christian grace and faith can see them as gifts of hope and purpose and receive them as treasures and joys.

Here are just ten of the many ways: 

  1. They prove God sustains. Despite what individuals without disabilities might assume, persons with disabilities enjoy their lives as much as anyone else. They appreciate all its opportunities and gifts, even in the midst of affliction.

  2. They embody grace. Living with disability proclaims that age, appearance, and ability don’t make a person more or less valuable. Rather, God’s love in creating, redeeming, and calling pronounces every member of our race precious.

  3. They model community. Persons who have impairments demonstrate how all human beings get to depend upon our Heavenly Father and upon each other.

  4. They add another viewpoint. Those who lack what many take for granted contribute insights on life and relationships that we might not otherwise experience.

  5. They invite servanthood. Neighbors that require particular attention and assistance provide us with opportunities to step outside ourselves and our concerns for the privilege of showing compassion.

  6. They surprise. What a delight to witness in these exceptional people how God’s goodness can’t be limited by our expectations and familiarities!

  7. They underscore the promises of Paradise. When brokenness becomes more obvious, it highlights the comfort that comes from our hope in the resurrection to everlasting life in our Savior’s new creation.

  8. They prepare us to help others. Practicing acts of kindness toward the ones whose needs we can clearly perceive trains and shapes us for aiding everybody around us, especially the least of these.

  9. They personify Christ. In the hurts and handicaps of individuals with disabilities, we encounter Christ Himself who incarnates heaven among us in humility. They draw us near to the Father whose power is made perfect in weakness—and not just theirs but even ours.

  10. They blaze us a trail. Loving someone with special needs prepares us to face the days when our own frailties inevitably increase. Whether those frailties show up in injuries or ailments or age, we will have learned how to inhabit them with courage.