In a perfect world, we’d all be at some lofty plateau in our Christian walk and God could do incredible works of glory through us. It would never dawn on us that God would actually want to use us, just as we are. In fact, God made a very interesting comment to Paul in 2 Cor 12:9:
9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ‘s power may rest on me. (NIV)
My weaknesses?” “How can God use a man with very poor vision, slight facial paralysis and a moderate hearing loss?” These are some of the thoughts that would come to my mind. Such thinking is not new to me and neither was it limited to my walk with God.
As a small child, I dreamed of being physically strong, having a sharp intellect, able to help anyone in need and to leap tall buildings in a single bound. This is in sharp contrast to the real me. Unlike other kids, I did have some serious physical limitations in addition to the usual problems. Never did I imagine having any of the above qualities. That is, until God decided to visit me in one of my dreams. I still recall my alter ego turning to me and saying that I already had many of these qualities. I didn’t know it then but it was really Jesus who was saying this.
This revelation laid an important foundation in terms of how I came to view myself. Over time, I came to see myself as a whole person; just as God was already seeing me. This is in sharp contrast to viewing myself as just a person with a disability. By no means, do I think that I arrived for I have not.
How does this relate to serving God? God doesn’t want believers seeing themselves as “damaged goods”. We tend to look at people like Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Joni Eareckson Tada and James Dobson and say that “They have arrived!” or “They must be super spiritual!” The truth is, each person is as ordinary as you and I. Each person has been to the valley and has had an occasional mountaintop experience. Each person has made their share of mistakes and has experienced doubts and fears.
By the way, you’ll notice that I mentioned “Joni” in the list above. In case you don’t know, Joni is a quadriplegic and has been one since she was 17. God has used this woman to create a major outreach ministry called “Joni and Friends”. Not only does Joni runs this ministry but sings, has written many books on suffering and is an artist. She paints with a mouth stick.
Gee, I wonder what God can do with a car salesman recovering from drug addiction, a pregnant single mother, a recovering alcoholic, a blind musician, a deaf orchestra conductor or just a plain and simple tailor. The key is, one never knows what God can do through them, until one decides to just trust Him.