“It’s not like this is something I can control,” I thought to myself while waiting for a church service to start.
A week or two earlier, a new friend had told me that God told him in a dream that it was God’s will for him to cure my cerebral palsy. After about an hour of praying for me with no apparent results, my friend said God wanted to heal my cerebral palsy, but something was blocking it. Maybe I should examine my heart for some unrepented sin or unforgiveness I was holding towards someone.
I felt guilty that I wasn’t the miraculous testimony my friend said I would be…that I couldn’t work through or fix the sin of unforgiveness in my life well enough to allow the healing that God apparently wanted to happen. I became worried I was testing my friend’s faith and disappointing God and desperately wanted to just pray hard enough or snap my fingers to make my cerebral palsy go away, more for my friend’s sake than even my own. I couldn’t do that though. I was so helpless.
“God wants to use the thing you can’t control,” the leader said at the beginning of the church service. Did she seriously just say what I thought she said?
She taught about Ehud, the left-handed judge in Judges 3:15-21, who was able to pull a sword from his right side to plunge into the evil King Eglon’s stomach. She said how being left-handed was something that was stigmatized in Ehud’s culture. Still, God was able to use the very thing Ehud probably wanted to change, but couldn’t control, to do a sneak attack on King Eglon.
Being left-handed is not stigmatized in twenty-first-century America like it was in ancient Israel, but my reason for being left-handed is. I have hemiparesis cerebral palsy on my right side and can only use my left hand!
Just like God used Ehud because of his left-handedness and not in spite of it, I have seen God work through my cerebral palsy to encourage people with and without disabilities alike. On missions trips, at church, and in my life in general, I seem to keep “bumping into” and having opportunities to encourage people with disabilities and their families. I have also studied the theology of healing and no longer feel guilty for something I couldn’t control. (Not only did Paul have a thorn in the flesh as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, but Timothy had a stomach ailment as mentioned in 1 Timothy 5:23.)
Maybe a healthier view of how God uses our weaknesses in a fallen world was the type of healing I was meant to have all along.