Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Blessed Assurance"1 (Lyrics)
He was in his early fifties, mentally challenged, and he fell in love. Oh, it was so beautiful to see! His friend, Marjorie, hung onto his arm like she would never let go of him. It brought tears to my eyes to see this adult man and woman look so happy. Never in my life did I ever dream that this would happen.
The man, Vernon, was my mentally challenged brother. The day that Marjorie passed on, it was a sad day for many, especially Vernon, yet he knew that she was with God. I was reminded that nothing is impossible with God. Vernon had faith, even though it might have been as small as a grain of mustard seed.
Galatians 5:22-23a – God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. (CEV)
Vernon was a loving, kind, and gentle soul, in spite of his many challenges. There was very little in life that brought him joy. Unfortunately, our dad was often unkind to him. Whenever aunts or uncles visited, like they did in bygone times without an invitation, Vernon would be sent off to another room and not allowed to sit with the rest of us. How cruel that was! I don't think that dad knew any other way. Times were different then, and he just did not understand.
After our dad passed on, my brother was allowed to go to our small town's annual fall fair, and he always would be so excited as he looked forward to attending. He also loved the folks at the local volunteer fire department, who were so good to him. They would pick him up at Christmas to take him to a party to see Santa Claus. Yes, this gentle giant of a man still believed in Santa Claus! It took so little to make him happy.
Romans 12:2 – Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him. (CEV)
Make it a point to understand and be kind to those who are different in whatever way. In this, we will be doing what is pleasing to God. You may think, I could never love a person like that, and hope that I never have to face this challenge in my family. None of us is exempt; we never know until it happens. I know that you will learn how to deal with it if it does happen, and that you will help those who need it. Remember that with God, all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26b – There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything. (CEV)
Prayer: Dear God, stir the hearts of people to try to understand those among us who are different. They may be mentally, physically, or emotionally disabled. May we all show to everyone who crosses our path in life the love that You have taught us over the years. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.