It’s been right about three years since I started getting sick.
I don’t know the exact date, but it was in the summer of 2012. Knee pain turned into limping, which gave way to falling down. After two years of using a cane, a wheelchair was added into the mix followed by a mobility scooter. Leg problems persisted and issues with my arms popped up too. Life is very different than it used to be for me. Everything has changed, except for the most important thing.
God is still there.
The length and severity of my health issues has not changed my standing with God. I’m His. He made me. Nothing that has happened to me has come as a surprise to Him. God didn’t forget about me for a while and then one day look over and say “Dan, what happened to you? Why are you in a wheelchair?”
It doesn’t work that way. I know this because he takes care of me on a daily basis, giving me everything I need. I’m unable to work very much at the moment, but I have a place to live and food to eat. I get discouraged, but God has given me people to encourage me and love me even when I’m so frustrated that I would rather push them away. There are days where I feel like the pain is unbearable but God always sees me through to the next day.
Looking in the mirror can be a tricky proposition sometimes.
Physically I’m not the same. I’ve gained about 65 pounds in the last two years. I’m either leaning on a cane or sitting in a wheelchair. I don’t look like the person that I picture in my mind when I think about myself.
But if I look past all that, I can start to see what God sees. I can see a person that He loved enough to save. Someone He loved enough to redeem. God sacrificed His son Jesus so that I wouldn’t be condemned for my sins. When He looks at me He sees someone made in His image. Nothing I did made Him see me this way. In fact, I did everything I could to NOT believe in Christ. He loved me enough that He found a way that I could believe in spite of myself.
Just in time too. I first believed in Jesus Christ in early 2012, about six months before my health would start to falter. I firmly believe that if He would not have led me to believe before I got sick that it probably wouldn’t have ever happened.
I was an angry, bitter man who was convinced that God didn’t love him. Adding life-changing health problems on top of that would have been disastrous. I believe that God loved me so much that he rescued me just before I would have shut Him out forever.
That’s how much He loves me and that hasn’t changed. It never will.
Seeing ourselves as God does is something that I think can be difficult sometimes for many of us. Life changes, our appearance changes, but God’s love for us does not change.
If you’re looking in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, try to think about what God sees. It’s pretty hard to not like that.