Enabled By The Grace Of God

Saturday, June 13, 2020
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Listen while you read: "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"1 (Lyrics)

James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)

A dear friend once told me that a butterfly can still take to the air even if it had lost 75 percent of its wingspan. What a miracle, and yet society would most likely categorize such a disfigured insect as being disabled. Surely, our Creator enabled her still to fly, to have a purpose, to carry pollen from plant to plant. If people would only take a closer look, they would see how encouraging her perseverance is to anyone struggling with disabilities.

Without warning, a severe form of arthritis crippled my wings. Learning to fly differently has been extremely challenging, humbling, and at times downright scary! Miraculously, being forced out of my comfort zone, I have new clarity and depth to my life — so much so, that I can honestly say that I believe that the testing of my faith is enabling perseverance. Therefore, on the days when I feel that I can't bear another flare-up, I cling to the joy of knowing that perseverance will finish its work, so that I will be mature and complete, not lacking anything!

Waking early this morning, I knew from past experience that I would need to walk and stretch out my sore muscles; otherwise, my day would not go well. With every step, I moaned inwardly, until a robin broke my thoughts, as it chirped a hello from the cedars nearby. Thanking the good Lord for this distraction, I began noticing the woody fragrance coming from the dew-laden branches nearby and paused to bathe in the warmth of the sun's healing rays as they filtered through the surrounding tall trees. Before long, my steps were less shaky, and I was excited to face the day. Truth be told, before arthritis took its toll, I had hurried through most of my waking hours, forever trying to catch a glimpse of tomorrow, a pattern that had left me mindlessly missing out on all the precious moments of today — moments lost forever!

Finally, dear friends, would I consider myself disabled or mislabelled? My answer is neither, for I am enabled by the grace of God. I know that, because God lifted me up with His wings. His love is the reason that I soar!

Psalm 91:4 – He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (NIV)

So be encouraged, dear one, if you are feeling overwhelmed with fatigue and pain. You are not alone! God is watching over you.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, Lord, grant us the wisdom to see beyond our differences and have respect and compassion for those who are struggling with physical and mental pain. Give them peace, purpose, and hope, so that they can persevere until that glorious day when they will be made whole. Amen.

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About the author:

Lois Macdonald <loismacs5@gmail.com>
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for a wonderful message.

    Great words of encouragement, Lois.

    Thank you, Lois, for this encouraging testimony. It speaks to me.

    Thanks Lois, this is really uplifting.
    May God strengthen you more in Jesus name.

    Thank you, Lois, for these comforting words speaking to my own need. Blessings.

    I am enabled by the grace of God. Amen Lois! Terrific testimony. Thank you for sharing.

    Thank you, Lois, for sharing this hopeful message. I may quote you in a sermon. This is the sort of faith story that my congregations can relate to.

    I could really relate to your message today, Lois. Thank you for giving me a new perspective on my arthritis and pain. Have a blessed weekend,

    Your story really made an impression on me, Lois. So true and so important to keep the faith. Thank you and may God bless you with a beautiful weekend!

    Dear Lois:
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony. I just loved your inspiring words.
    God bless you Lois and may you soar with the eagles.

    Thank you. I have osteoarthritis. It drives me crazy. But God gave me a doctor, and a good treatment plan. God still provides for my needs in the time of COVID-19.
    (Manitoba Canada)

    Hi Lois,
    What a great devotional this morning! Thanks so much. I forward it to a friend who has had a redwing blackbird at his window for a few days. So many lessons we can learn from all of God’s creation!
    God bless you as you bless us with your writing.

    Hello dear Lois,
    Thank you for your devotion today, it was written for me.
    Your words are so reassuring as I too struggle with severe arthritis and chronic pains. I’m encouraged to take a walk!!
    God bless you richly and grant you strength to overcome your pains.

    O Lois! I’m sure you will receive a tremendous response of thanksgiving for this great devotional, just stuffed full of information, wisdom and understanding. Helps me this morning, for sure. They say that if I have one foot in the past and one in the future, I will pee all over today. Your feet are in the now, (which is why we call it, the ‘present’), the GIFT of another day with him.

    Hello Lois
    thank you for this precious devotional…so true, as we push through with His mercy and love we sure do benefit from His goodness.
    Thank you and have a great weekend.
    The body could not do the work quite the same way
    God is good and thankful for His love.
    God bless.

    Greetings Lois,
    Thank you for this encouraging and uplifting devotional today. May you continue to find strength through our Lord’s love and care to deal with the distressing effects of arthritis. Taking time to notice and enjoy the great displays of God’s unique creations gives us joy and encouragement to hang in there and accept life’s trials as we go forward.
    Blessings for pleasant times ahead.

    Dear Lois,
    Thank you for such an insightful devotional with such wisdom about how to live life. That is very interesting about a butterfly and what she is capable of even with a loss of so much wingspan and a good analogy of how we look at the world. I always appreciate your heartfelt sharing and encouragement and you take the steps to make your days better even though it is painful. You are an enabler and an encourager. May many more blessings come your way.

    Several years ago, I was stricken with arthritis. I believe there are over 50 types of the disease, so I cannot predict what is in store for you, but my health has returned to “normal”.
    With the help of an excellent rheumatologist and the medications and supplements I take, I’ve been able to return to the life I enjoy, always remembering that my capabilities have diminished due to aging.
    There is hope!
    I’ve also made some good friends, learned persistence as well as the value of prayer and am grateful for the challenge that has taught me so much about who I am in Christ Jesus.
    Sounds like you already have a handle on most of that stuff!
    Bless you for sharing,

    I deal with that sort of thing too.
    But the Lord as given me a task that involves deadlines so there is no giving up.

    Thank you, Lois.
    The devotional fit my needs today.
    May God bless you and keep you writing.

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