Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Peace be with you!
There are moments everyday where I just wish I could control my Cerebral Palsy muscles a little more than I can. Just the other day I filled my water bottle from the refrigerator, and my hand muscles started cramping up. My full water bottle went flying to the floor. What a mess!
My muscles flinch every time there is a loud noise. A “flinch” for an individual who has Cerebral Palsy is a six-inch jump, even with their seat belt on. Because my startle reflex is so sensitive, I am not able to drive either.
Then there is the fact that my reaction time is ten seconds behind the curve. Chester Jr., our newest puppy, could be messing the floor and it will take my mind ten seconds to tell my muscles to grab him and take him outside.
If only I had more control over my muscles, I could drive, fill my water bottle, open a soda can, feed myself, and just be more independent. It is the little, everyday things I wish I had the fine motor control to do.
In the Old Testament reading, both Abraham and Sarah are in their nineties (and Sarah has been barren all her life). They understand the impossibility of ever having a child of their own. They feel a lack of control over this most important part of their lives. So Sarah takes control by giving Abraham permission to have a child with Hagar, which he does. Sarah thinks she is smarter than God, because she understands the law of Mother Nature; she understands how impossible it is for her to ever conceive a child. She is in her nineties, for Pete’s sake! She is impatient; she shouldn’t have to be worrying about having a baby of her own. She should be onto grandchildren by now!
However, God promised Sarah she (not Hagar) would have a child, even though she is barren and old. God wanted to do a miracle and he wanted to do it through Sarah. He wanted to take a barren old lady and use her to create an entire nation. We often think the promise is for Abraham and Sarah when in reality it is just for Sarah. Just because Abraham has a child with Hagar does not mean God’s promise was fulfilled. Sarah could never expect such a blessing at her age; however, God had great plans for Sarah and her offspring. Sarah just had to trust God would use her for his plan.
For whatever reason, God does not grant me the kind of physical healing that would enable me to completely control my muscles. But as a result, I have come to realize that my inabilities are just as much blessings as my abilities. For one thing, I hardly ever have to eat alone. This has allowed me to get to know some wonderful personal caregivers who have become friends along the way. I have been able to share my faith with personal caregivers as well. Since I need help with what I called “stupid stuff,” I have met some incredible individuals, especially during my travels, who have helped me without a second thought.
Last September I flew to Baltimore for a conference. I ended up having to sit in the airport for two hours until my personal caregiver flew in from Minneapolis. While waiting for my personal caregiver, I met a flight attendant who I ended having lunch with while we chatted about boys, school, etc. We now keep in touch via Facebook and keep each other’s spirits up.
Having a disability has also taught me there are a million different ways to meet a goal and to do activities. Over a decade ago, I did not think I could downhill ski. Now my brother and I go every winter to Utah to ski. Over the years, we have met individuals from all over the world who train with the National Ability Center and compete at the Paralympics. It is an incredible feeling to tell people who assume I am stuck in my electric wheelchair that I downhill ski. Their mouths just drop open.
I may not be able to control my Cerebral Palsied muscles, but God has kept his promise to include me, one of his children, in his plan. God has control over my direction in life. When the doctors told my mom and my dad that I would never sit up, talk, or walk, God must have laughed. God had and has big plans for me. When most people see me on the street, they see an individual in a wheelchair who is cognitively challenged – until I open my mouth and say I have my Masters in New Testament and run my own website. These individuals believe they have control over what I can do and be, but God has the real control. Only he knows where I am going and what I will be doing.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for always having control over our lives, even when we think it is impossible. Help us to let go of the control of our lives that we desperately hang on to; help us to give it up to you. Remind us that you have a plan and make what seems impossible possible. Thank you for taking control and using us for your plan. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. Who tries to control your life?
2. How do you try to maintain control over your life?
3. How do you give up control to God? Or how do you plan to give up control to God?