Our conversation actually began a couple weeks ago, one Sunday morning. A smiling, bright – eyed boy greeted me after I entered the building and was being helped with my hat and coat. “… I like your wheelchair. What can it do?” So I showed him that by using my joystick and chin I could not only drive the chair but also elevate my feet, raise my whole body or recline. The technology fascinated him but it was time for the worship service to begin. He disappeared into the crowd.
The following Sunday morning, once again I was confronted by his glistening eyes and beaming smile. This time he mustered up a little more courage and inquired, “How long have you been in the wheelchair?” I responded that I’d been using it for about 4 1/2 years. Then he made a statement which could have floored me. “My mom says that you will always be in the wheelchair.”
Wow! What a depressing thought. Although I am very grateful for the technology and availability of my power chair, the very idea of being confined to it forever is both dismal and discouraging! Further, I fully realize the intent of the boy’s mother; she was trying to impress on her son that my confinement and injury is permanent. Yes, my injury is C – 3 complete. I am very fortunate to have the mobility and function I enjoy with my level of injury.
But I look forward to leaving this chair behind one day. I must admit that I’m not very optimistic about being miraculously cured, although this could happen. I am certain however, that at the last day, I will be raised with Christ and will have no further use for this chair. So I explained to my young friend that when Jesus returns, I’m dumping this chair! I won’t be in it forever. The future is bright.
In the meantime, life is hard. 2 Corinthians 4.7–18 provides a Christian understanding for dealing with these difficult issues:
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:7–18, ESV)
Dig into this gold mine yourself and discover at least one vital truth to help you today. Now, reflect upon it and apply it to your personal circumstances. Your situation may be difficult but your future is very bright.