For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
I was encouraged by the testimony of champion Paralympic swimmer, Jessica Long. She is a 13-time world record holder and has won many Olympic medals. Yet, with all of these accomplishments you would never believe that she was born without her lower leg bones. It was in a Russian orphanage that her parents, Steve and Beth Long, found her and decided to adopt her and another little boy. At eighteen months, they decided to amputate her lower legs and this was the first of 25 painful surgeries she would have to endure. Her parents, however, impressed upon her that God had a special plan for her life. Yet, this was difficult for her to believe. She couldn’t understand or accept why God had made her this way, she couldn’t understand why God chose to make her different. She was angry and didn’t want to have anything to do with Him.
Many times, I think, when we are facing challenges, when life isn’t quite going the way we hope or expect, it can be so easy to become angry with God. We question Him wondering why He has allowed these things to happen to us especially when we may be trying to do everything right. Jessica had done nothing wrong to deserve being born without lower leg bones, that was just how God chose to create her. In the same way, God may choose to allow us to go through things that are painful and that may not make much sense. Yet, as I like to say, with God there is always a bigger picture, even a bigger plan, a bigger purpose for what we are going through.
Jessica discovered that she had a love for swimming. At the age of ten she joined the local swim team. She thereafter went on to compete in various world championships and win many gold medals. Unfortunately, swimming became her identity when she realized how much she was able to accomplish and achieve on her own. She didn’t even want to rely on her parents let alone a God she could not see. However, after winning over 50 gold medals and numerous world records she realized that something was missing. In spite of all her accomplishments and fame, she still felt empty. She was also tired of being angry, tired of carrying the weight of it. Finally, she surrendered her all to God, to the One she had been told could fully satisfy her.
Here’s the thing: God made Jessica that way for a reason. Sometimes we may think that we have to be perfect, that everything has to be perfect for God to use us and create something beautiful out of us. Jessica, for a long time, did not feel worthy and could not see the special plan of God for her life that her parents had told her about. All she could see was her handicap. Many times, all we see is our handicap, our brokenness, that flaw or imperfection that seems to disqualify us from ever becoming something special. We may even look at other people’s “perfections” and believe that if we only had what they have we could accomplish great things. But the nice thing with God is that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). God doesn’t see our imperfections as a hindrance but rather as an opportunity to accomplish great things for Him. Our identity is still found in Christ and based on what God says about us ... in spite of our imperfections! God’s thoughts about us existed even before we were created and they don’t change when our flaws – in our body or in our character – begin to surface. God is not moved by our limitations but by His Word which doesn’t change.
Think about Jesus’ disciples. They were chosen not because they were perfect, in fact they were far from it. They were chosen because of God’s purpose for each of them. No one was better than the other.
God may not have given Jessica whole legs when she was born, but that did not stop Him from using her to accomplish all those achievements with the shortened legs that she did have. He did not see her as broken but whole, a whole vessel that He could use. She didn’t need whole legs, she just needed God! God still had a beautiful plan for her life and she did not need a perfect body to be worthy of that plan – she just needed GOD! We don’t need a perfect body or a perfect life to accomplish great things for God – we too just need GOD! His Word NEVER said that without a perfect body or without a perfect life we can do nothing. In fact, He sees us through perfect eyes. His Word says that without HIM we can do nothing (John 15:5b)! Let’s keep it in perspective. He will fix what needs to be fixed, He will leave as is what He chooses not to change, but when we put our trust in Him we can and will do ALL things through Christ (Philippians 4:13) who will enable us to do special, beautiful, wonderful things that our eyes, mind and hearts could never dream or imagine.
If you have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior I encourage you to do so now. God is not interested in perfect people to do His perfect will. Rather, He specializes in using imperfect people to show the world that He alone is able to do great, mighty and wonderful things in us no matter our limitations, imperfections or flaws.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.