You Are Not Handicap in the Eyes of the Lord
I had today’s blog planned and ready to submit for posting but God had a change of plans. This morning I attended and participated in the homegoing service of someone dear to me who went home to be with the Lord. We met over 15 years ago and our relationship will be one that I treasure for a lifetime.
For the past several years she has been confined to a wheelchair due to a debilitating arthritic condition. But her love for God, family, and people (in general) was never affected by her handicap. In fact, it intensified. Last night for some reason my attention was directed to the lame man in Acts 3. As I took my final views of my precious friend today and all throughout the service I kept thinking about the comparison between her and the lame man in the scriptures who came year after year to the Gate Beautiful.
This man obviously had given up hope of ever being healed, and resorted to being carried by anyone who would assist him to assume his position at the gate to beg for handouts. I imagine many people looked at him in disgust and derived their own conclusions as to why he kept coming time after time and was content with begging for handouts. It was not their place or ours to judge the man but in the end we know he got so much more than he ever expected!
Month after month it didn’t appear that my precious friend was getting any better. After many falls and other complications, it was determined that for her safety and overall wellbeing it was in her best interest to be moved into a healthcare facility. Through it all she never complained and whether it was a hospital, nursing home, her home, or any place else she never failed to be a shining witness and servant of the Lord. She never met a stranger and had a beautiful smile that drew you to her like a magnet. Once she drew you in it was certain that you were going to hear about her Jesus and His faithfulness to her.
I sat asking myself how many of us have our own figurative wheelchairs that we have been confined to by experiences beyond our control or that we have created for our own purpose or convenience. If you think about it a wheelchair does not totally incapacitate the individual. Yet it can hinder their mobility and limit the freedom and liberties that an able bodied person can enjoy.
You would never have known that my friend was hindered by that wheelchair and the crippling arthritis. It didn’t alter her purpose, her zeal, her service to God’s work; if anything it heightened her spiritual sensitivity to the needs of others. She lived a life like Paul testified, in Philippians 4: 12 when he said he knew how to be abased and how to abound. She knew what it was like to be mobile and enjoy the good life, going wherever she wanted, when she wanted. But when that no longer became possible, she adopted the attitude of the popular cliché . . . “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”!
In my conclusion, I pose the question to you – What is your wheelchair keeping you from? Just in case you didn’t get it, I’ll rephrase the question another way. What excuses are you using to keep from doing what you know you have been called to do? If it is for you to do, if it is yours to accomplish, if it is your blessing to possess, then no “wheelchair” designed by man has the power to keep you from what is yours to achieve. The way I see it you have 3 options:
- Lay the excuses aside and get up out of the wheelchair and do what you’re supposed to do.
- If getting out of the wheelchair is not an option, then move forward and don’t let anything stop you! Use it to your advantage and start rollin’!
- If you know that you must endure the wheelchair for a certain amount of time, take this time to regroup, refocus, and recharge. When you are finally delivered — it’s ON!!
A Tribute to My Friend,
Sunrise: October 3, 1943</strong>
Sunset: January 26, 2015