Sunday, June 9, 2013

We're Not Normal

this was shared on FB today - it is from Joni Earickson Tada.  It applies as much to CIs as it does to those in a w/c (wheelchair).  Others look at us and say, "someday you'll be normal" inferring our CI is something that makes us abnormal (although, I must admit, sometimes I certainly feel abnormal!)

Please read Joni's amazing words all the way to the end.  There you will find my comments on them.

You're Not Normal...

"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" = 1 Samuel 16:7

When I speak, my message is often about how God has helped me grow leaps and bounds using my wheelchair. However, one time after I gave that message, a woman approached me and said, "Joni, don't worry. One day you'll be normal just like us." She missed the point.

I wasn't offended by the woman's comment so much as saddened that she was making the mistake described in 1 Samuel 16:7. She was looking on the outward appearance. She inferred that I envied her ability to stand. In her view, "normal" meant having a body that "worked," even if it was slightly overweight with a touch of arthritis.

We Christians need to shift our thinking and "...fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). God is concerned about unseen things like patience, sensitivity, faith, goodness, perseverance, and self-control. We are "normal" in God's eyes when we demonstrate endurance and long-suffering, when we keep looking to the unseen things. This is the normal Christian life. You can live it whether you're 5'2" standing or 4'3" sitting. You can live it whether you have varicose veins from walking or atrophied muscles from being paralyzed.

I will not be normal some day; I am normal right now. And so are you if you abide by 2 Corinthians 4:18, fixing your eyes on what's eternally important. Take a look in your heart to check whether it's "time" is correct.

Lord, so many of my thoughts are caught up in the here and now that I forget if I can see it, it's temporary. Enable me to fix my gaze on what's important, the eternal.

Joni and Friends


CI makes us different, that is for sure, and many well-meaning folks either pity us or think we are soooo holy and brave (yeah, right!)  

We know differently.

Like His people Israel, God has chosen us to display His glory in our very leaky vessels.  And, also like His people Israel, sometimes we are inclined to say, "Why can't God choose someone else for awhile?"  

Actually, each one of us who has been chosen by God (CI or AB, makes no difference) is being conformed to the image of His Son.  His Son was a Carpenter.  He learned from His youth to sand and carve and cut wood into the shape He wanted - and our wooden hearts are in His Shop from now until the day we stand before Him - Live and In Person.

In my life, CI happens to be the chisel He is using to shape and form my heart into something pleasing to Him.

What is yours?

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