Hi, friends. When catching up with an old friend at a United Methodist event for Rise Against Hunger, my disability came up in conversation, and the friend said something like, “I’m really sorry you have to go through that.” I responded, “Sometimes, I think I’m too happy for a handicapped person.” We laughed about that, but I genuinely meant it.
Life isn’t a constant picnic for anyone. Some view humanity’s collective suffering with a bit of cynical humor–“Life’s a bitch, then you die.” Christians believe that God will somehow work out this messy world by the end, and whatever our struggles may be, the Lord will help us if we seek Him earnestly. [Note: His version of help might vary from our expectation.]
Heaven must receive him [Jesus] until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:21, NIV)
Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8, NRSV)
My disability affects my every physical action, so people feel sorry for my situation. The people who pity me don’t know that “it is well with my soul.” I am sincerely happy with my life, despite the flaws. I have so many blessings to balance out the negative.
Every Christian (and person) has unique struggles. Some of you have shared them, and I admire the grace with which many of you bear your crosses.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, NRSV)
Some of you have recovered from the loss of a spouse due to tragic death or unwanted but necessary divorce. Some of you have dealt with mental illness and even attempted suicide. Some of you have served jail time or lived on the streets. Some of you, like me, have chronic disabilities.
Sometimes, I wonder if “being in a wheelchair” will be the heaviest cross I bear in life…I keep thinking that, if so, I’ve cheated the system by feeling this joyful. To be fair, I do fear dying young in the back of my mind, but that’s due to my heart thickness, not my physical mobility.
After reflecting on how many of you have also found the silver lining to the rain cloud, I conclude that a spiritual life/perspective enables a person to find the silver lining of any rain cloud…or at least weather the storm until the sun shines again.
And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5, NRSV)
Thanks for reading. God bless you!
I’m starting a series soon about the different aspects of my disability that I deal with, so stay tuned, hehe.
This is a Christian pop/EDM song. The lyric I love the most is relevant to this post–“I choose JOY!”