Suffering. Why? The book of Job in the Bible answers some questions. Jesus Himself says we will definitely suffer in this world because He suffered.
But, how are we to respond to suffering and disability within the church? What does the Bible have to say about our lives and our response to suffering?
In a book edited by Larry Waters and Roy Zuck (I love his teaching/education books that I picked up in seminary) – many authors are brought together to answer some tough questions. Their attempt to shepherd their readers (pastors, teachers, lay leaders, parents) through these heavy, weighty topics, is biblically-centered and pastorally rich.
I work with a volunteer couple at our church whose desire is to see the disabled children in our church have as much access to the Gospel as those who do not have disabilities. As we have figured out through recent lectures or books: we all need the Gospel. We need to make the gospel accessible to all: those with disabilities, those who are suffering, those who are orphaned, those who make 100k a year and are living the American dream. The Gospel is needed for all!
Joni Eareckson Tada says this truth plainly in her first chapter: “The greater one’s need, the greater will be his capacity. And the greater the capacity, the great will be one’s experience of the Savior.” (pg 19)
This book covers a wide variety of aspects regarding disability and suffering. From professional care to pastoral shepherding to personal experience: all wrapped up in how the Bible talks about suffering and disability. This is what I love about Zuck and Alcorn (who wrote the forward): handling life’s difficult situations with Biblical focus. The middle part of the book: walking through the parts of the Bible and how each handles suffering and disability: will help give every reader a biblical understanding, a look at God’s sovereignty in everything, and what our response should be.
My friend, Shannon, on her blog says it well: so that the works of God might be displayed.