There are many stories in the Bible about disabled people used by the LORD to bless others. One such is Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, grandson of Saul, Israel’s first king (2 Sam.9). He was disabled as a child when his nurse fell with him in her arms as she was fleeing from danger. Whether he was crippled in his leg muscles or had a brain injury we are not told (2 Sam.4). Whatever it was, he was unable to walk for the rest of his life. When David became king he asked if there were any living relatives of his dear friend Jonathan to whom he might show kindness. When he found Mephibosheth, he treated him exactly as he would have a great warrior. He saw to it that Saul’s lands were inherited by Saul’s grandson and provided servants to tend and farm it for him. Moreover, Mephibosheth was a welcome guest at David’s table for the remainder of his life and a constant reminder to David of how the LORD had blessed him and given him his kingdom.
Let us not forget Moses’ disability. He had some kind of speech defect. He complained that he was slow of speech and tongue. Whatever his impediment he believed he surely could not influence Pharaoh. To this the Lord replied,
“Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” – Exodus 4:11-12 ESV
Then the LORD sent Moses’ brother Aaron to be with him to be his spokesman. And you probably know well the rest of the story and how Moses, with Aaron at his side, spoke for the LORD and led the Children of Israel out of slavery and to the land promised back in the days of Abraham.
People with disabilities are often pictured as instruments through whom the LORD blesses and saves His people. There is the delightful story of the four lepers who rescued Samaria from starvation (2 Kings 7). The Syrians had laid siege to the city. Food was so scarce that people were forced into cannibalism. The situation seemed hopeless. Four lepers, excluded from others and forced to exist as best they could by the city’s gates, decided they might as well make their way into the Syrian camp. What could the Syrians do to them that was not already going to happen anyway? Death was their destiny one way or another.
So they struck out for the enemy camp as the sun was setting. But upon arriving there they found no soldiers. The camp was completely deserted. The Syrians had fled, leaving food, supplies, animals and tents behind. The writer of the story says that the LORD had caused them to hear what they thought was a great army closing in upon them. Somehow they assumed that the Israelites had been able to hire Egyptian and Hittite mercenaries to attack. Fearing for their lives the Syrians fled in terror.
Needless to say, the four lepers gorged themselves on the food and grabbed all the money and clothing they could carry. But after hiding it they had guilty consciences about the starving city. So they made their way back to tell their besieged countrymen that their enemies had fled. It took some doing to convince them, but eventually the Samaritans accepted the good news and poured from the city to claim the food and everything else left behind.
Many such stories can be found in Holy Scripture. They remind us that anyone of us can used to bless others in spite of our disabilities. At another time I will share similar encouraging Biblical stories.