Viewing a disability as good is not a universal stance. Being in a wheelchair 24 hours a day is a source of pain for many. I once met a girl in a wheelchair who wants to be a scientist so she can find a cure for her disability. Doing so will free her from the prison that is her disability. Even though I consider it a joy to be in a wheelchair, there are some days I agree. Because of my disability, I am in prison. During those times, I’ve found comfort from the apostle Paul:
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. Philippians 1:12-14 NIV
I am no stranger to being an encouragement to people. One time it happened while I was at a conference in a local church. Sessions were held all over the place. Some were in the basement while others were held atop numerous flights of stairs. Stairs are not an issue for me, so I was a trooper and climbed them as necessary. At the beginning of the second day, I ended up chatting with a gentleman who attended the conference while staying at a homeless shelter. He told me he was hesitant in coming the night before; until he seen me going up and down those stairs on crutches still smiling. He went home that night and thought about what he’d seen. Considering the joy in the midst of the struggles I had, he decided to return for the rest of the conference hearing the Gospel of Christ he might otherwise have not been exposed too.
In 2 Corinthians 12, we learn that Gods power is made perfect in weakness. In sharing his weakness with the Corinthians (2 Cor. 12:7-10), Paul tells them having the weakness keeps him humble. Any good that he accomplishes doesn’t come from any merit of his own. It is God being gracious to him and using him in the moment. Sometimes God does that with us.
What are your weaknesses? How might God be using them to open doors to share what Christ is doing in your life?