A Heart for Disability
Lord, You are mighty and strong. Today, lead me deeper into the strength that never fails as I walk with You.
2 Samuel 8:15-9:13
Consider: "We are never more the Church than in our identification with those who suffer. This is one vital way we participate in the vicarious suffering of Christ (Phil. 3:10)" (Richard Foster).
Everything had fallen into place. God promised David that one of his descendants would reign on the throne of Israel forever. David had subdued all the surrounding enemies, who no longer threatened Israel but rather paid Israel generous tribute. In fact, the coffers in Jerusalem received such a steady flow of taxation wealth that the people of Israel could relax and enjoy the support of their former enemies. They were flourishing in peace and well-being like never before. God was blessing them.
David was grateful. Because the king was able to let down his guard against local enemies, he paused to consider his loyalties to the house of Saul. Not surprisingly, David's closest friend, Jonathan, Saul's son, came to mind. What could the king over all Judah and Israel do to honor his deceased friend, who had been closer than a brother? When David inquired of his household servants, some of whom had served under Saul, one of them reminded David that Jonathan had a surviving son who was disabled from a childcare accident. Like Job of old who claimed to be "feet to the lame" (Job 29:15), David responded with kindness by inviting Mephibosheth to eat at his table as a son. He even gave him his grandfather Saul's land inheritance and provided him with workers to cultivate his fields as a means of personal support. Mephibosheth went from a poverty-stricken outcast who found neither acceptance nor accessibility in his daily life, to being a child of the king.
God blesses those who help people with disabilities. God has always honored those who care for the needy, particularly those who cannot take care of themselves. If we take it upon ourselves to assist people with disabilities and accept them as our family, God will bless us richly and use our good example to challenge others.
Look at your family, friends, and neighbors to find someone with a disability. Commit to accepting and assisting that person.
Lord, I am blessed not having to face the challenges that some do. Give me opportunities to bless others who struggle with all sorts of challenges.
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