I was enjoying some friendly conversation with old friends after church when my teenage daughter whispered in my ear, “Dad, he’s losing it.”
A quick glance at my son confirmed her assessment of her older brother with disabilities. Experience had taught us that his vocalizations would only get more intense and much louder. We needed to go.
I felt a heavy sigh welling up as yet another pleasant moment was cut short by my son’s behavior caused by his disabilities. It was another small disappointment added to the 10,000 others before it.
This is an important part of the story about disability in the lives of families. It frequently isn’t the “big things” that are sapping our strength and hope, but the constant little things that wear away at the foundations of our lives.
You Can Help
Here is where the church can have a profound impact on a family! Paying attention to small things that are wearing away at a family experiencing disability can help maintain their foundation and reduce the need for a bigger intervention down the road.
But how? I’ve been to many conferences, read dozens of books, reviewed hundreds of blog posts and nearly a thousand articles. As simplistic as it sounds, the best advice boils down to three things: trust God, get to know the family, then act.
1. Trust God.
Trusting God is, by far, the single most important of the three. If we are …
1. truly uncondemned and set free (Romans 8:1-2),
2, with the full knowledge that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28),
3. in a relationship with someone God has intimately created (Psalm 139:13),
4. even with disabilities (Exodus 4:11),
5. which is for his glory (John 9:3),
6. and he has chosen that person for the good of his church (1 Corinthians 1:27),
7. even calling them central to his purposes (1 Corinthians 12:22),
then you can trust God to equip you to serve families that experience disability.
Based on that sure knowledge, getting to know a family that is different because of disability isn’t so scary. Their God is your God and he is good and entirely trustworthy.