I was born with a congenital problem in both of my knees that would drastically affect my life. From the time I was diagnosed, I have had one dislocation after another. After twenty-one surgeries and a rod in my right leg, I finally realized that there would be no cure. For many years I questioned God: Why does it seem so few around me experience hardship, while I have it all dumped into my lap? I began to think that I was a terrible person and that God didn't love me.
Surgeries began to take their toll, until I could hardly pray. One day, in the steam of our shower curtain, I wrote, "Help me, God." Through this surrender, God showed me that I had to come to my weakest point, and then He began to work in my life.
In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 it says, "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
I had to learn to give up my desires and let God take me to my weakest point, so He could mold me and make me into what He had planned. Previously, I had always tried to stay tough and just get through the hard moments, but it was exhausting and making my situation even harder to handle. So now, instead of being tough, I would picture myself resting in God's almighty arms of love, being craddled and loved, where I was safe and cared for. When I was there, I realized God was in control...not me. That was my way of letting go so God could work out his will for my life.
I also had to recognize that God had allowed this congenital problem when He first formed me in my mother's womb. For a long time I questioned why God would allow me to go through so many trials as a child. I wondered if the physical challenges were the result of some sin in my life. Sometimes I even wondered if God loved me or if I was special to Him.
Then one day I found closeness to God that resulted in experiencing His love even more fully in my life. He showed me that He wasn't allowing the problem to hurt me, but through His love He had chosen me. I see this a lot...God seems to choose those who are weak and humble to be used for Him. So don't ever think that you aren't special to God if you have an illness or disability. In Psalm 34:18a it says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." This verse brought me through many rough days. God showed me that He was even closer to me at this time in my life, and that gave me hope. He had a plan for my life, and in order for that plan to happen, He'd had to use my health. This way I could be used in the way He desired. It's God's plan for you to use your illness; for example, by helping others, you will understand their needs.
Through my weakness, God has given me the joy of becoming a published author. I now work with many who are going through loneliness, chronic illnesses and pain. When I reach out to help another I feel His strength in me, instead of the old weakness that used to be there. God has a plan for your life too. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond the circumstances. It doesn't matter whether you are laid up in bed, a wheelchair, or maybe just having a rough day. let Him show you His plan for your life. "Disabled" doesn't mean "not able" in God's vocabulary. He has great plans to use your gifts. You never know when your life may change the life of another too. Let Him make you strong through your weakness.
It's Only Because of Him...
Diane K Chamberlain (Author)