Confined But Not Limited

imageWe may feel confined by our illness and limitations but Dorothea reminds us that God has no limits.

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).

One of my favorite passages of scripture comes from the Apostle Paul. It’s in I2 Corinthians 12, when he states that God’s grace is sufficient for his weakness (vs.9). I love this verse because I am living its truth these days.

Right now, all I can do is ask God for mercy. I know that I would not make it if His grace didn’t touch me. It’s all I can think to pray, and I am so glad that He meets me, as I clutch onto the slimmest hope that this day may be a little better.

This morning, as I read Philippians 1, I find myself becoming intrigued by Paul’s declaration in verse 12. It makes me reevaluate how I think about my days. Although I spend most of my time upstairs, isolated from the rest of the household, I can be thankful that I’m not in chains and under guard.

Each day when I read a new devotion written by someone who lives with chronic pain and illness, I think about a quote by author Marvin Williams that says, “Just because Paul was confined didn’t mean the gospel was confined.”

We may be limited in what we can do or the places we are able to go, but we are not limited in our ability to spread the gospel. As long as we remain willing, God is able to use us to uplift and encourage those around us. When we are faithful to share how His love and power transforms us, we make a difference.

Even though we may feel restricted by our challenges, we must refuse to let our limitations have the final answer.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your written Word and for using ordinary men and women in such extraordinary ways. Please continue to inspire us and help us to trust You. Amen.

About the Author:
Dorothea Love lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Norman. They are the parents of two adult children. She has lived with chronic illness and pain for over 30 years. She knows she must rely on God’s grace to strengthen her whenever she faces a challenge. She invites you to read some of her other work on her blog: http://www.dorothealove.wordpress.com.

How do you find ways to spread the gospel and show people God’s love despite feeling confined by your chronic illness?

It is easy to feel limited by our illness. Not a day goes by when a thought quickly crosses my mind about how I could have done more, or what is still on tomorrow’s list that would have been completed today if I had just felt better. It is hard to know God has it in His hands and is not judging us by our accomplishments that we have no control over.

it just takes one small miracle from God to help us get over this feeling of inadequacy and this song, “One Little Miracle” with Amy Grant and Hawk Nelson, have lyrics that describe it well. The song says all our tomorrow’s look like yesterdays, making it hard to stay hopeful. Yet we can. Hoping this speaks to you today. -Lisa

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