One of the problems some people have when they suffer is that they feel less than human. Take a person who has become physically disabled in some manner. They may suddenly look at life from a wheelchair, or they cannot perform their job any longer because of physical limitations.
These people on the sidelines of life look longingly on at healthy, able bodied people who breeze through life and nothing stops them. They call to mind days past when they too could run and play, they and compete with others successfully but now their body lags behind their ambition and life grinds to a halt.
Perhaps a man must look out of the window to watch as his wife struggles to shovel the snow on the sidewalk. Maybe he can no longer help bring in the groceries. He must quietly sit at home during the day while his wife goes out to earn a living for them. All the while the notion gnaws at him that he is less than a man. We sense that we are boat anchors that slow our loved ones down.
Guilt plays a big role in how disabled people view life. They know that their life partner vowed "for better or worse" and "in sickness and in health", but did anyone making those vows really think it would come to this?
Questions plague the mind as the one suffering asks why God allowed this to happen. They do not understand how they can be of any use to the Lord—or anyone else for that matter—now that physical limitations have invaded the situation.
This is when we need to read and read again the passages of Scripture where it says Jesus had compassion on someone. There are many scenes for us in the Gospels where we witness our Lord gently and tenderly addressing the needs of people who are on the fringe of society and life.
A most beautiful statement is found in Exodus 2:25 where the Lord looks on the suffering of His covenant people and it says, "And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them."
Our verse for today is in the context of Jesus approaching a widow with no visible means of support, who was in the act of burying her only son. With the greatest tenderness, Jesus solves her problem by raising her son from the dead. She was still elderly and dependent on her son, but she knew that the Lord had made provision for her in her need. She was not less than human after all.
If you or someone you love is disabled, always remember that the Lord looks upon you and His heart is moved by your struggles. While He may not remove the physical deficit that you endure, He will minister grace to sustain you.
The Lord has compassion for those who suffer and will never leave or forsake them in their time of special need.