As we are striving towards a common goal of expressing the reason for the hope that we have, we can come in contact with the seemingly cold nature of reality. Sometimes, it seems like there are things wrong with the world that are extraordinarily hard to reconcile with the nature of God who loves all humanity.
I have heard this said about living with a variety of disabilities. People wonder how a loving God can allow some people to go through so many trials in life that the general population may never experience. How is that not cruel or even remotely fair?
I am in an interesting position to ponder this question because I do have a severe physical disability. I was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is entirely genetic, and it basically results in the progressive weakening of my muscles.
How is it possible that God, who we believe is good, allows things like disabilities in the world?
This could become a discussion regarding the problem of evil, and we certainly could talk about the existence of natural evil. My condition is entirely genetic, so you could certainly ask why God allows genetic mutations to happen. I think that would be a valid line of questioning.
However, in my own intellectual experience, there is a more effective way to answer this question. If you ask why God created people with disabilities, I would argue that it is important to consider why God created people in the first place. People with disabilities are still people. The obstacles, challenges or differences that we experience every day might be difficult, but they do not destroy our humanity.
As a result, we have the following argument.
God values people.
People with disabilities are people.
Therefore, God values people with disabilities.
Premise one does not take a lot of defense and should be rather intuitive, but let me provide you with a few scriptural references just in case you’re looking for them.
Mat 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
1Jn 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
Psa 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
It ought to be relatively clear that if there is such a thing as a Christian God (an assumption I am making for the sake of my argument), He values people.
Premise two can also be supported by a Christian worldview (although I think you could defend this premise from a secular perspective as well). Check out this verse.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
People are people in the eyes of God. If you are a child of God, then you can be male or female, Jew or Gentile, have a disability or not have a disability or really any other type of earthly difference. God does not differentiate among members of His family, so it seems to follow that under the Christian worldview, people with disabilities have the same value in the family of God as people without disabilities. I guess that this assertion might not hold for subscribers to the more extreme forms of utilitarianism, but most people would be comfortable asserting that people with disabilities are fully human.
From my two premises, my conclusion necessarily follows since the argument is technically valid.
If God values people with disabilities, then a variety of arguments simply disappear. For example, you cannot argue that God plays favorites. If everyone is valued, then it is not as if God is somehow unfair. Disability must not be a consequence of a God who is not valuing certain people.
You also can’t argue that God is cruel. Again, if He values people regardless of disabilities as I have argued here, then it certainly does not follow that God would be cruel to people that He values. That would not make any sense whatsoever.
Basically then, here is the point of all of this. The existence of disability cannot be used as an argument against the existence of a good God. Disability is apparently irrelevant in the eyes of the Christian God. He values people regardless of their condition.