The Inspiration of Limitations November 13 2015

Our local library posed the following statement for young people to answer:  “Describe a person who makes you go ‘Hmm, what would (name a person) do?’” Responses were written on cards and put up on the wall, and here is one from a young lady:  

“That would be my brother Isaac.  He was blessed to have the use of all of his limbs until the tender age of 17, at which point he became a paraplegic and nearly lost his life.  He never faltered on hope; he persevered, went to college through countless adversities and graduated with a BA.  I AM VERY PROUD OF HIM!  And when I think of having a pity party or am having a sappy day, I think of how he feels not having the freedom that the use of legs gives … and I cease to complain.”  

We don’t know anything else about Isaac except that he obviously had an impact on his sister’s life.  It was apparent to his sister that he was not blaming anyone else for his circumstances.  It reminded me of several biblical principles:
  1.  Whether we realize it or not, others are watching to see how we respond in adversity.  II Corinthians 3:3:  “… you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”  
  2.  Limitations that we have are opportunities for God to demonstrate His work in us.   This is what Jesus said of the man born blind, in response to the disciples question about the reason he was born that way “… it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9)  Hardships are God-given opportunities to demonstrate how Jesus makes a difference in our lives.
  3.  There are many, many things we take for granted.  We often only realize how much we appreciate them when we no longer have them.  Seeing the limitations of others, or their hardships, should remind us to say, with all sincerity, “In everything give thanks…”   (I Thessalonians 5:18)
I am in no way minimizing how difficult circumstances may be.  Situations can be extremely difficult, and it’s not easy in the middle of them to remember these principles.  That’s why it’s so important to remember Jesus as our ultimate example who “… while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.”  (I Peter 2:23).  

Seeing someone who is thankful, persevering and joyful through hardships is a great reminder to all of us (suffering or not) that we are blessed people.

So ponder the same question that Isaac’s sister did.   Who do you know who has demonstrated this Christ-like perseverance and joy in the midst of trials?  Send us a short description, and we may post on a future blog, with your permission.  You can send to blog@bcfministries.org.  You can learn more about BCF’s ministry and study materials at www.bcfministries.org.

Steve Smith