“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
What’s the biggest thing you’ve missed out on because of your disability?
Recently I missed meeting Joni Eareckson Tada at our church. Her ministry has nourished me spiritually for decades. So I went to hear her speak. At the completion of her message our pastor said, “Joni will be in the back hallway signing autographs. If you see someone with a disability waiting in line, please let them move to the front of the line.”
I must confess my initial attitude wasn’t God-honoring.
Everyone’s disability isn’t obvious. No one will believe I’m disabled. Ill have to explain my invisible symptoms. I don’t have the energy or inclination to go through that.
My lack of stamina forced me to walk away. This was an opportunity to feed my fleshly desires. I’d earned a good dose of self-pity.
Poor Vicki. You missed your chance to meet that Godly woman.
Ephesians 4:23 chastised me. “Be made new in the attitude of your minds.”
Why is it so hard to abandon a pity party?
Thankfully I’d recently reread Ephesians 6:13-17. I don’t always cloth myself in heavenly attire, but that morning I chose my garments wisely. I’d picked up my sword of the Spirit (the Bible), and remembered the all-important accessory: the shield of faith. It helped extinguish the “Poor Vicki” flaming arrows that shot through my head.
Romans 13:14 provides the best outfit recommendation for each day: “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Dressed in the armor of God, we make a godly fashion statement. It enables us to, “Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).
Prayer: Dear Jesus, others may not see my symptoms, but I’m grateful You understand the aches and pains I feel. Forgive me for feeling sorry for myself. Thank You I was able to walk away . . . that I’m able to walk. Help me begin each day with You. Teach me how to walk ‘in the way of love.’ Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/
Vicki wrote a picture book about bullying: Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies. You can find out more about that book by visiting her Heart Eyes website: http://www.hearteyes.net
I invite you to listen to Joni’s message. She’s an example of someone who walks ‘in the way of love.’ How has Joni’s life inspired you?
Joni Eareckson Tada at Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia from Calvary Chapel of Phila – Sunday on Vimeo.
Joni recently had a song up for an Oscar, as it is part of a movie soundtrack. Unfortunately, it was withdrawn from the nomination in a controversial decision by the Oscars officials. Still, God used this situation to give both Joni, the movie, and the song, an astronomical amount of exposure. Vicki shared a situation where she felt a bit alone and misunderstood. I think this song, “Alone Yet Not Alone,” will comfort you. Joni could have surely used this disappointment of a lost opportunity as an excuse for a pity party. Listening to her share her story on news broadcasts after the decision to rescind the nomination gave me (more) great respect for her.
You can read more about the movie here at the AloneYetNotAlone.com web site. It opens his week, Friday, June 13, 2014. -Lisa