In church the other day, a verse was referenced that jumped off the page to me. I underlined it in my Bible, wrote my little note beside of it like I have a habit of doing and moved on. I thought I moved on, but that verse has stayed on my mind and I catch myself thinking of it over and over.
Here is the verse: “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.” II Timothy 2:9 Of course, we know that Paul was writing this and that at the time he penned this, he was a prisoner in Rome and shortly would lose his life for the cause of Christ. He was talking of the bonds of his prison. It is an obvious fact that since we can read that verse while holding the Word of God in our hands, that it is true – the Word of God was not bound.
I know the verse jumped off the page of my Bible to me because of what I view as my own personal bondage. Waking up in the morning and facing today in a wheelchair I can handle. Thinking about the next year or five or twenty, is at times overwhelming. Sometimes my “bond” is not only the wheelchair and the many unseen things that go with that chair, but the fears that can plague you. There is an anxiety at times that billows over you – out of nowhere – and you think “Okay, this nightmare can just stop now.”
My bond, a disability, meaning that I am not able to do something like able people can. In my case, it is paralysis. For others, it could mean blindness, deafness, loss of a limb, cognitive issues, and the list could go on and on. It is so easy to develop a selfish attitude and feel sorry for your loss. It is easy to take your frustrations out on those you love. It is even easy to question “why”? It is easy for all of us to live selfishly anyway, but when you think you have a pretty good excuse and no one would blame you (they wouldn’t like you either) for it, then it is even more tempting.
Maybe my thoughts on this have been exaggerated lately because our county has three elementary schools that have been re-built. The old buildings are going to be torn down and they have had an auction the last two weeks at the old school buildings. Jimmy went the first week and came home saying how ridiculous it was. The school had stairway after stairway and there was no way I could have gotten in. I thought “No problem, the next school will surely be better.” So, the next week, we drove over to get a look and same problem again. Jimmy and the kids looked around and I sat in the van. Apparently, if any of the kids were in wheelchairs, they got to go to school in a modular, away from the school building and all the other kids. This steamed me up. I felt really mad for those kids. I felt really mad for me. I felt really mad!!
This is the type of scenario that can kick start the “oh-me-oh-my” mood. I do not like this mood and I know it is sinful and not pleasing to the Lord so I try to ask the Lord to help me focus on Him and change my attitude! This is when the Lord always pleasantly surprises me and thus, my verse jumping off the page at me.
This passage has spoken to my heart also. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. II Peter 4:12-13 “Think it not strange”? “But rejoice”? Are you kidding me!!! No, He is not kidding. God knows that this “disability” is nothing new to Jesus Christ. He has suffered all that we ever will. This likens me to Him. Isn’t that what we all say we want?
This convicts my heart so because I realize more and more how worthless my words are. I can’t begin to tell you how many times in my life I have prayed to be more like Christ. And now I have this new way of life, that has the potential to make me a partaker with Him in His sufferings, and I don’t want it? Did I really mean what I have prayed? It humbles me. I see my humanness and frailness and I realize again and again how much I desperately need Him.
You see, I don’t have to be able. He is able. He is able to do more than I could ever ask or think. I may be bound, but He is not. I am encouraged and want to encourage anyone with any sort of disability that although we may live in bonds, the Word of God is not bound. If we will only trust the Lord to use us, through our bonds, we can be instruments of Jesus Christ sharing His precious Word.