Today we welcome a guest post from Steve Elshaw as he applies a scripture verse to the work of supporting people with disabilities. For more caregiver encouragement check out Christian Horizons podcast series Renew.
Jesus instructed his disciples to “pack light” for their mission (Matthew 10:9-10). When it comes to the mission of supporting people who experience disabilities, there are a few transferable principles from this passage of scripture that we can apply.
We can be freed up to who God has gifted us to be.
In a sermon called Jesus People: The Time is Now, Danielle Strickland stated that: “The only way you can access the power of God is to stop trying so hard.” God has a plan for the redemption of the whole world, and we can play our part. We don’t need to be something that we are not. He has created us for a certain purpose.
We can express real and authentic love in a culture that can often dismiss people who experience disabilities.
Many people are never taught or shown what sacrificial love looks like. The media reinforces the main goal for human beings is to be productive instead of being present. For some, it can take a long time to gain this awareness. It’s like going to a chiropractor appointment: you don’t realise you’re out of alignment, until you go. Jesus can transform our minds and hearts, so that we can have satisfaction and enjoyment in life, and be truly present with the people we are supporting.
If we are wronged by the people we support or other people we come in contact with, we can forgive.
We may wonder how Jesus was able to endure such a painful death on the cross and forgive the people who were killing him. It could be because Jesus freely gave away what he freely received from the Father. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated that: “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a consistent attitude.”
We can prioritize our family and friends above our job.
I once was at a church service and overheard a member of the congregation mention a list of about 10 things the pastor needed to change immediately about a program at the church. It only took about 5 minutes for this person to share their own personal “pet projects”. After the one sided conversation was finished, I heard the pastor say: “I need to go. I haven’t said hi to my son yet this morning.” Our own well-being needs to be prioritized if we are to be able to sustain our mission of supporting those who experience disabilities for the long haul.