Well-meaning preachers and writers will suggest that God never ’causes’ disability, but when disability shows up he is ready and able to do something about it. I believe that most who say and write such things are hoping to protect God from being accused of doing bad things.
But God takes credit for even worse things than disability. Like initiating the death of his own son.
And he does it for his glory and our eternal good.
Pastor John’s sermon on Sunday, Jesus Died to Gather the Children of God, landed with unusual power and helpfulness on our family. The connections to God’s sovereignty – for our good – in really hard things was everywhere, like in the following (emphases in bold are mine):
Caiaphas prophesied (in John 11:49-52), that is, he spoke God’s words, and God said: “It is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” God said that. “Better that Jesus die.”Better. “Better than any other plan in the universe.” This is what God said.
Therefore, the death of Jesus was not mainly a tragic set of events which God turned for our good. It was a loving set of events which God planned for our good. God himself served the death warrant on his own Son. He did not just predict it. He unleashed it. This word of prophecy tracked Jesus down into Gethsemane and put him under arrest. There was no escape. This was the word of God. “It is better that he die.”
Pastor John concludes the sermon with five applications, of which this is the first:
Be strong in the face of hard times and seeming defeat, because God is not simply watching and waiting to turn it all for good. He is in it from the beginning planning it for your good.
From the outside, the words of Caiaphas simply looked like a hostile human plan that would bring the Messiah to ruin. But from inside, John shows us that the very words of execution were not just the words of Caiaphas, but God’s words— and God had a totally different plan for these events that anyone could see. And so it will be in your life, again and again. You will see the outside. It will look hostile and destructive. Inside God is at work—for your good.
Don’t judge by appearances. Trust the sovereign planning of God for your good. He gets many victories through apparent defeats.
God is never surprised, nor is he ever defeated. The best plan ever initiated by God looks like total failure, for a season. But everything, including disability, will work for your good and my good. Eventually we will see that clearly, and we will praise him for eternity for it.