"Wrestling with an Angel" The Book

Wrestling with an Angel is also a book endorsed by Joni Eareckson Tada, Noel Piper, Russell Moore and others. It is available in print, audiobook, and a variety of ebook formats. Learn more about the book here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sunday Means Someday Disability Will Be No More

“He charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, wondering what this rising from the dead might mean.” (Mark 9:9)

...and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” (Mark 9:26-27)

“For He was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And when his is killed, after three days He will rise.’” (Mark 9:30)

Jesus tells his disciples that he will rise from the dead. They are perplexed. They don’t understand “what this rising from the dead might mean.”

So Jesus gives his disciples a real world illustration in the life of a father with a severely disabled son. Using disability as a picture, He teaches them about the resurrection.

A weary, desperate father brings his disabled, dying son to the disciples to be healed. When the disciples cannot heal the boy, the father runs to Jesus. Jesus heals the boy by casting out the spiritual forces of wickedness. The demonic departure leaves the boy “like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’”

“He is dead.”

It could have ended there—he was dead—just like it could have ended after the cross. Jesus was dead. It could have ended there for all of us, if it weren’t for the next sentence.

“But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” (Mark 9:27)

Did you see that disciples? That is what it will be like at the resurrection. He was disabled, now he is whole. He was mute, now he can speak. He was enslaved by the spiritual forces of wickedness, now he has been given back to his father. He was dead, but I took him by the hand and now he is alive. That is what it will be like at the resurrection! And I will lead the way. Because I rise, you will rise too!

Jesus was using a disabled child to teach His disciples about the resurrection!

“For He was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And when his is killed, after three days He will rise.’” (Mark 9:30)

For believers everywhere, resurrection Sunday is Jesus’ victory over death, hell, sin and Satan.

But for those of us who live in the valley of disability, resurrection Sunday also means Jesus is victorious over seizures, syndromes, blindness, deafness, muteness, disease and suffering.

Sunday means someday, my son will talk without a computer. He will see without glasses. He will understand without hinderance. He will rest without medication. He will walk without braces. And he will run without falling.

Sunday means someday a resurrected Jesus will take my son by the hand...and he will rise! He will rise with a new mind, a new body, a new heart and a new life.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Sunday is someday.

Come quickly Lord Jesus!


  1. thanks for sharing this.

  2. Hi, I'm visiting here for the first time, from "Losing My Mind." May I share a story with you?

    I used to work in a day program for people with disabilities. One of our participants was "Will", a man in his 60's who had been rendered quadriplegic in a bicycle accident as a child. He had a smile for all as he traversed the hallways in his power chair, and was known for his love of Elvis Presley's music.

    He passed away unexpectedly one night - fortunately, there was time for his family to come to be with him. We at program were told the next morning.

    That night, Will came to me in my dreams. He was smiling even more broadly now, as he danced toward me on two good legs, with a little Fred Astaire flair. All his suffering was forgotten. Since then, I have known beyond all doubt that the disabled will rise up, healthy, happy and strong.

    Happy Easter to you and your son. I'll bookmark your blog and read more of your story soon.

  3. Just discovered your site and your story via the upcoming disability conference (John Piper). I hope to attend in November, looked at the schedule, and googled your name because I'm particularly interested in the topic of your presentation. Ordered your book, looking forward to reading it. I've been living in the darkness of severe disability for more than five years and am eager for the day when I can find the blessing in it. Not there yet.

  4. Greg, we too have a son with severe seizures.Seizures to the point that in February the neurologist told us that if we were not able to control the seizures, he has a 60% - 70% chance of not being here in five years. Our son's name is Jason. Jason has very limited verbal ability which frustrates him a lot. This causes aggression that is getting tough to handle. But the joy that Jason brings into our lives and the lives of so many around him is unbelievable. He can smile the biggest 'heart' smile I have ever seen. He somehow seems to wiggle his way into everyone's hearts. Even though he is almost 14, is probably around 5'11" and weighs at least 140 lbs, he is our little boy and will always be so.
    Even though we know he has limited understanding of concepts etc, we always talk about the gospel to him and tell him stories. We believe that no matter what our level of understanding is, God has to work salvation in our hearts. For some reason, we so often think that since these kids don't understand what we are saying, we don't need to tell them the gospel and explain the necessity of salvation. If God can work in a heart like mine, He surely can work in our son's heart!!
    After a particularly miserable stretch of seizures and a week of lack of sleep, Jason looked at me and said, "No seizures in Heaven!". (These kind of phrases are amazing because Jason can usually not get 2 words out together)
    "You're right buddy!! No seizures in Heaven." Oh what a day that will be!!
    All I have to say is, "Don't come over for coffee for at least a 1000 years 'cuz we'll be talkin' to our son!!!!"
    Thanks Greg for the encouragement. So often it seems like such a small world we are living in because of our kids with disabilities. It's good to connect this way.