There is a little boy who has my heart. He is unable to talk, walk or move as a normal three year old, but is full of life and joy. Born with cerebral palsy, he may never be able to have a “normal” life as other youth his age. I have heard his parents talk about what purpose and plan God has for his future. When ever I am around this little one, watching him from afar or when God brings him to my mind, usually every day, I smile. I believe Jacob, this little angel’s life, is to bring joy.
Not too long ago, God bless me with attending a party for Jacob’s older brother whom was turning six. I asked if I could hold Jacob, to be a blessing to the parents, but also selfishly because my heart wanted to hold this little boy whom I pray over and think about daily. For two hours, I was able to play and take him from game to game; his eyes glowing with the bright lights and ears at times covered from the loud noise. I would jump up and down, take his hands and play what games he could and laugh when he would look at me and smile.
I have not had the pleasure of playing with him since that day, but I think of his little smile, his round glasses, and the two hours God gave me to spend with the little one I pray over continuously. Only the Lord knows how much I think of him, how much I remember those few hours, Jacob’s smile and the joy he brought me in such a short time. Maybe the Lord will bless me again, my heart overwhelming with happiness brought by a little boy who has no idea how he touches those around him. His purpose, his plan, I believe is to make people smile.
Many are born with disabilities. First reactions from parents can be waves of devastation, sadness, anger and frustration. Why me? Why would you give me a child like this? I can’t handle this! Lord, did I do something wrong? After the initial shock, parents resort to encyclopedias of information, searching everything from cures, to treatments, quality of life and monetary burden. Late night discussions can lead to arguments, how are you going to handle this? Did you some how cause this? Am I to blame?
“Jonathan, son of Saul, had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became crippled. His name was Mephibosheth.” (2 Samuel 4:4) I wonder how many times Mephibosheth’s nurse looked at him and cried. I wonder if grief and sadness shook her thinking of that moment over and over in her head. I read this story and my heart feels for her, but I also read this story and remember God has a plan.
A man after God’s own heart is king. A love continually burns in his spirit for a friend. Although dead, the brotherly flame carried for Jonathan flickers in David’s heart unable to be extinguished. Desiring to continue his blessing for his gone friend, the king seeks those alive in Jonathan’s household.
“David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?’
Now there was a servant of Saul’s household named Ziba. They called him to appear before David, and the king said to him, ‘Are you Ziba?’
‘Your servant,’ he replied.
The king asked, ‘Is there no one still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?’
Ziba answered the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.’
‘Where is he?’ the king asked.
Ziba answered, ‘He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.’
So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel.
When Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor.
David said, ‘Mephibosheth!’
‘Your servant,’ he replied.
‘Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather, Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’
Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?’
The king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belongs to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.’
Then Ziba said to the king, ‘Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.’ So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.
Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.” (2 Samuel 9)
There are several things I LOVE about this story. Did you see when King David called, “Mephibosheth!” Exclamation! He shouted his name, just as our King calls to us daily, “Nicole!” Yes! I love Maker of Heaven and Earth knows my name! King David called the crippled, blessed him and Mephibosheth always ate at the king’s table. Second, we eat at our king’s table, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:5-6) God wants to bless you!
Mephibosheth had a “crippled” attitude, for who could love or bless a dog like him? Well, that is NOT how King David saw him, and that is not how our King sees us.
“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. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes say my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in the book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:13-17) You, your child, your grandchild, your sister, your brother or your relative and friend are fearfully and wonderfully made. Not by random chance or accident, God made you exactly the way you are.
I am sure people treated Mephibosheth rudely; continually reminding him of his disability, but not David. I am sure people pitied him, would not associate with him; but not King David. I am sure he felt the sting of gossip, the curse of God from others, but not King David. The love God placed in David’s heart was to bless, not curse.
The love in his heart was to carry on Jonathan’s inheritance, not to withhold blessings from a crippled man. Psalm 23:5 pens, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” In the King’s palace, blessed, served and rewarded, I wonder how many people looked at Mephiboseth differently now? I wonder how many people gawked at the King’s brazen request to sit with such a “dog”? David loved Mephiboseth, just as Christ loves us.
Do not listen to what people have to say about you, you listen for the King. Do not let other’s judge you or decide you can not do something, you listen to the King. Do not but a label on yourself from society, you listen for the King. Do not think you are unable to serve God or are without a purpose and plan; you listen for the King. Do not believe for one second you could not have ALL that God would give to a “normal” person; you listen for the King.
Mephibosheth’s nurse probably experienced guilt. Maybe this guilt gave this young boy the “dog” complex he experienced or labeled himself with. I plead with the woman who reads this, a parent with a disabled child, please do not label your precious gift anything other than, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Teach them to listen for the King. Teach them they too can sit in the palace. Teach them they are not here by random accident or chance, but God formed them in the secret place with purpose and a plan.
Today, I will think of little Jacob and smile. I will continue to pray for him, his purpose, and plan. God placed this little angel on my heart to write about and whose ever hands read this, will think of him also. When reading this, imagine a little dark haired boy, with circle rimmed glasses, and smile that could light up a room. Please pray for his plan and purpose, that God could use that smile to give joy to those around him. Jacob will sit at the King’s table, be used by the very Hand that made him, and enjoy a lifetime of eating with the King. Your child is not different and neither are you. As David called Mephiboseth with exclamation, you listen for the KING!
Let us pray out loud and CONFESS the Word of the Living God; a prayer to know you are fearfully and wonderfully made
Jehovah-Shalom, The Lord is Peace,
You created my inmost being; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you Lord, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me are written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).
Before you formed me in the womb, I know you knew me and set me apart (Jeremiah 1:5). Remind me the body is for the Lord; this is your temple and how special I truly am to you (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:13). I know that I was chosen before the creation of the world began to be holy and blameless in your sight, predestined to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:4-5). I believe the body and spirit are precious in your sight. Made in the depth of secrecy to be formed and molded into your image and the image of Jesus Christ. Help me to know how much you love me and the purpose for which I was created.
Remind me everyday how precious life is, that it is sustained by your very hand and breath (Psalm 18:35, 146:9). Remind me Lord I sit at the table with a King! (Psalm 23:5) Help me to listen for your voice (1 Kings 19:12). I praise you Lord for your creativity, for every unique individual, for every child born unto you and the purpose for which you have set before each one of them.
If I have been labeled or compare myself to anyone “normal”, help me renew my mind with the washing over of the Word (Romans 12:2). I do not want to compare myself to another person, but fulfill the plan and purpose for which I was created. Help me Father to not be afraid, to push past those who may call me names, insult me for my disability, laugh because I am different or in your eyes, unique and special! I praise you Lord for you goodness! I praise you Lord for creativity and that I AM fearfully and wonderfully made! In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray, amen.
Read more with the Women of the Bible on our Resource Page. Find Mephibosheth’s Nurse in Book 2 of the One a Day Series