10 But Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past or recently or since you have been speaking to your servant—because my mouth and my tongue are sluggish.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who placed a mouth on humans? Who makes a person mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say.”
How do we reconcile the reality that we are bearers of the Imago Dei, the image of God, and yet our bodies bear the scars of a broken and fallen world? Is God still sovereign and still good despite our physical, emotional and mental disabilities? Is it fair to ask the question, “I’m made in His image, but am I a lesser image if I’m disabled?” I think Moses asked those questions too.
Did you notice how seemingly valid Moses’ objection to God was? He had a legitimate physical limitation: he stuttered whenever he spoke. Thus, Moses tried to reason with God by asking in effect, “How can I possibly set an entire nation free from slavery if I stammer my way through negotiations?”
Again I’ll ask: can God use our disabilities in the work He wants to do?
John Knight, a writer who lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments and a seizure disorder, reminds us that God in His sovereignty doesn’t “merely permit disability…He sovereignly intends it, both for His glory and for our good—that the works of God might be displayed.”
If God is in control over every detail of creation, and I believe He is, then that means His power extends not only to our strengths but also to our disabilities and inadequacies. We understandably want Him to use our strengths to serve Him—and often He does. But we shouldn’t be surprised when God calls us to something we can’t accomplish in our own power. Yet it’s there, in our weakness, where the works of God are put on full display and the strength of Christ is made perfect in us.
So instead of solely submitting to Him our strengths, may we also offer Him our frailties. When we do, then we, like Paul, will be able to “boast all the more gladly of our weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us.”
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How would you explain to someone that despite our brokenness, we are still created in the image of God?
- Have you ever sung the prayer, “In my life, Lord, be glorified”? Are you open to how God wants to glorify Himself through you, even if that means using your weaknesses?