Is Disability God’s perfect plan?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,   I know that full well.

sight or makes them blind?

Psalm 139: 13-14

When we gaze upon a scan of a new life being formed in its mother’s womb we can’t help but be in awe at the miracle we are witnessing. “Ah…” we sigh, imaging a perfect little body being created and ofter up hope-filled prayers for the life they will lead. Certainly the Psalmist agrees, seeing the miracle of our body’s formation as evidence of the remarkable handiwork of God. I wonder, however, what our sigh would be upon discovering that the unborn child had a disability?  Would we still see a perfect plan in the making? Would the later verses of this Psalm, praising God for “all the days ordained for [the child]…written in [God’s] book before one of them came to be” still rise in us a prayer of hope and anticipation for all that new life will achieve?

Disability was God’s perfect plan for my life.  A controversial statement? Possibly for many I am sure. But one I was totally convinced about upon discovering that I would most likely be wearing a veil and having a very different relationship with God had I not be born with a disability.  My Muslim parents were living in London when I was born. When my father died, my mother returned to Jordan with her other children. Because of my disability, I remained in London benefitting from a Christian upbringing and medical interventions that without doubt prolonged my life. Did God know that when I was being formed in my mother’s womb? Of course he did!

Retaining our confidence that God is in control despite appearances is the key that unlocks the potential to a full and abundant life. I don’t know what sort of a life I would have had if I had been taken to Jordan. I’m guessing that it would have been a difficult one. Not so much because I had a disability, but because the personality that emerged would not have withstood the limitations of a constrained upbringing. He knew that a life destined for purpose could not be left to chance.




Consider the attributes/image of someone you most admire either eg a public figure, or someone we know personally or someone imagined. Then read Isaiah 53:2-5.

Thank God is not caught out. Praise him that he cares for us, and that he has a plan for our lives that is destined for purpose.

Consider some of the life stories of people who have lived with disability that you either know personally or have heard of. Then read Isaiah 53:2-5 again.