The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
I sat down beside a woman on a park bench to rest my legs.
“Do you have a disability?” the woman said.
“Good grief! Who is she talking to?” I thought. “Oh…right. ME.”
I have a noticeably different walk when my legs are tired and I am unable to do certain physical activities. But because of this, I am forced to draw strength daily from the Lord. The God of the whole entire Universe helps me to endure! When I’m tapped into God’s power and not my own, it hardly feels like a defect. My body may falter at times, but my soul is securely established in the hands of Jesus.
It doesn’t bother me when people notice or ask questions. People are just being people, insatiably curious, and I understand that. In fact, my “new friend” on the park bench and I ended up having a nice conversation. Someone pointing out my physical struggle actually encouraged me because I am daily making an effort to focus on the GOOD in my situation. In this case, I was reminded that although I have a disease that is sometimes disabling, God is faithfully enabling me to do enjoyable things like walk around the park with my family one fine Sunday afternoon.
I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12b-14
Whatever our struggles may be – physical, emotional, spiritual – or maybe something is happening that is beyond our control. Circumstances may sometimes seem relentlessly cruel; the days just plain long and our emotions stressed. There are times we have to fight for joy by choosing to focus on truth instead of our feelings about what may be happening to our bodies, in our minds and hearts, to the people we love, with our jobs and interests or even in the community around us.
I often find my sustenance in the hope of what is to come. For those who are in Christ Jesus, we will be called to heaven someday, reaching the goal that He has achieved for us and the home for which our souls have been longing. Eternal life is a gift of matchless grace, but I believe the true prize is Jesus himself. Spending eternity beside our brilliant Creator, compassionate Savior and loving Friend is a reward beyond all measure.
Hoping you, too, find renewal to face your difficult days, decisions, and situations in the glorious anticipation of spending thousands upon thousands of moments with the One who is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20) And believing, although we look forward to the ultimate prize, that Jesus is also in our here and now, reaching out with inseparable love.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39