Devotional / Blog
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January 13, 2015, 12:00 AM

It's Time to Get to Work!

I hope you had a blessed holiday season. I had a wonderful time and got to spend some blessed moments with my family. I have been patiently waiting on the pressure sores to heal on my feet. They have shrunk to about the size of a silver dollar on each heal, and are trying to close up. The risk of infection has gone down dramatically. I saw the doctor this week, and he said what has healed in 8 weeks should have taken 8 months. We both praised God for that. (Having a practicing Christian physician is a blessing)

I am now to the place where the work of rehabilitation can begin. I can start to strengthen my muscles (while staying off of my feet) to learn to walk normal again. There will be months of tedious work with slow progress. Within a few weeks, I will become frustrated because I am impatient by nature. I will not feel like I am up to the task and my self-esteem will plummet. I have done this too many times. I can say all of the motivational things to myself I want. It is going to happen and I can’t stop it.

So I won’t. Instead, I will focus on something I can control…my self-image! How I feel about myself, or my self-esteem, changes from day to day and even from hour to hour sometimes. But my self-image or how I see myself is a more long term thing that controls every aspect of my life. If I don’t see myself as capable or worthy of recovery, it doesn’t matter how I feel about it. Similarly, if I see myself as capable, it doesn’t matter how I feel. I will succeed. But I need more than just a good self-image. I need a Godly one.

In the Book of Judges, Chapters 6, 7 and 8 gives a great example of this point in the story of Gideon. Israel had disobeyed God, and in essence had lost their Godly self-image, so God turned them over to the Midianites for seven years. Their crops and livestock were constantly consumed like locusts by the invaders. Israel cried out for God to rescue them and an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon. The angel addressed him as a “mighty man of valor.” Judges 6:12

Gideon, who was the youngest man in the weakest family of Israel, was not convinced. When the angel appeared, he was hiding in a winepress trying to make a loaf of bread with a handful of wheat. His response in Judges 6:15 was “Please Lord, how can I save Israel?”

It took a lot of patience but the Lord changed Gideon’s self-image. When Gideon finally saw himself as God saw him, Gideon had 22,000 men to take on over 120,000 of the enemy. God then intentionally cut Gideon’s men down to 300. But Gideon, as weak as he was, now knew who he was as God's chosen leader. So Gideon then proceeded to wipe out all 120,000 of them with God’s help. But that’s the point. You can be weak. God is strong. If you want transforming change, trust God.

In the 1990’s I literally had 3 vertebrae pulled out of my neck and had pieces of my hip and titanium put in to replace it. Yet months later, I was glorifying God by riding 180 miles across Oklahoma on a bike for Focus on the Family. I just believed God that I was a mighty man of valor and in many television interviews, I was able to give Him the glory and share the Gospel. 

We try to cut God out in any meaningful way and we try to motivate and build ourselves up by building up the way we feel about ourselves. Then when things begin to go wrong and the feelings fade, we fail. Instead, we need to change the way we see ourselves as children of God. We have all of the tools to overcome roadblocks that Gideon had.

So, I am in a wheelchair now. Where could God have me in a year? What about you? That, to me, is so exciting. Things will change. I will grow. I may not always feel good about it. I will have bad days. I will have depressed days. Sometimes, I will feel horrible about myself. I will lean on God, family and friends to get through those moments. Feelings will come and go. But my self-image, or howI see myself, is defined by my God. He loves me. He sees me as a world changer. As long as I trust Him, I will not fail.


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