The Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have been beset with problems and controversy. It seems the host nation, Brazil, has not had too much interest in the sporting prowess of disabled people. Perhaps the reality of the event will create more positive attitudes.
It’s not so long ago in the UK – and in many countries - that people with disabilities were either put in institutes or depended completely on family support to be able to cope. When we look at what the Bible shows us, we realise that it was tough in Bible times too for those who could not so easily manage in the struggle of life.
But what we do read there, is that God is interested in all those who are disadvantaged in any way. None of us is perfect, of course, and the Bible explains that this is the result of man turning away from God and His laws. But there are numerous examples of compassion shown to those in need and of wonderful miracles of healing and restoration for the lame, the blind, the deaf, the paralysed.
The Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated God’s concern in the healing work he undertook, so that the blind could see, the lame walk and the deaf hear. By this means, he showed the power of God to give fullness of life to those who believe in the gospel of the kingdom of God.
This kingdom will replace the kingdom of man when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth. At that time ‘the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped… the lame man shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing’ (Isaiah 35:6).
In a speech at the opening of the Paralympic Games, Carloz Nusman, the president of the organising committee, spoke of building "a new world, more accessible to all and with no obstacles".
That new world will surely come when Jesus establishes God’s kingdom on earth. It will not require funding, or an organising committee.
For it is God who ‘gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength… They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ (Isaiah 40:29-31).