By: Tim Sader
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Right before my brother was born our family doctor wanted me to be tested for Muscular Dystrophy (MD). I was scheduled for an appointment to see a neurologist at the University of Minnesota. They drew blood to test for an enzyme that is present when there is muscle damage and a lack of dystrophin. To confirm they tried to do a muscle biopsy but couldn’t do it on me since I had a reaction to the anesthesia. Instead they did one on my baby brother and it confirmed the muscle was deficient in dystrophin. Doctors were certain that if he had it I had it to. Usually this disease is found in the mother’s genes but she had no trace of it. These tests confirmed our family would have to deal with us having Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). This disease not only would determine physical abilities and ways of life but possibly rob us of 50 years or so. As I grew up my parents had faith in God and it got us through many hard times as I started to realize what was happening. I lost one ability after another. They would plateau for a while but gradually I lost strength in my legs. First I could not run very well. For a while I could only get up off the floor by pushing up on things until I couldn’t at all anymore. Then it got to where I was scared to go up and down stairs so my parents would carry me. As time passed my walking slowed and I felt unstable. I would leave class early to go to lunch or the library so I wouldn’t get pushed over by other kids. I started falling a lot and almost everyone in my class had to watch to make sure I didn’t fall. In fifth grade they determined it was unsafe for me to walk at school because we had to change classes for different subjects. The school said that I would have to get a wheelchair to use at school. Everything up until that point I handled fine because I still felt “normal”. I knew I was different but it really didn’t hit me until I was sentenced to spend the rest of my days in wheelchair. I could no longer hide the fact that DMD was going to be part of my life and it wasn’t going to be easy.
From the beginning my family decided not to let this bring us down. We put our trust in God and though we haven’t always understood His plans we know that He can do the impossible. He strengthens the weak and weary. Even youth get tired and weary; they may stumble and fall. But if we will wait on the Lord He’ll renew our strength. We will soar on eagles wings, run and not be weary, walk and not faint (Isa. 40:29-31). I believe in a God who can and will still heal people today. I am unsure as to why something my family has asked the Lord for so long has not happened but am thankful for the many ways God has blessed me. Oftentimes when a child is born with a disease parents feel they did something wrong for that to happen. This isn’t because of the parents or childs sin. It is so that the works of God might be displayed through them (Jn. 9:1-3). I think often about the lame man Peter and John helped to receive his healing at the gate beautiful. Instantly this man received strength in his feet and ankles (some of the first muscles weakened by DMD). He jumped up and started to walk. Then he went to the temple with them walking, jumping and praising God (Acts 3:7-8). This man quite possibly had some form of MD. By faith in the name of Jesus this man was made strong and was completely healed in the presence of many soon to be believers in Christ (Acts 3:16). Until things change in my physical body the grace of God is sufficient for me; His power is made perfect in weakness. I must be approaching perfect! Joking aside this is why I speak about my struggles because when I’m weak He is strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10). To wrap up I will leave with the most quoted scripture in my life. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). He can do the impossible for us!
Though outcomes in life maybe easy for others to see for us our struggles seem to be impossible to us. Some hardships truly are impossible without a miraculous God size intervention. Possible or not makes no difference to God. The more impossible the better for Him. God likes a good challenge from our impossibilities. He is the creator, potter, carpenter and architect of all things in existence. There is a solution to all of our problems and God is that solution.
Lord we thank You for being creative in each of our lives. If there is a solution to our dilemmas You know what it is and how we get it. Help us to not be brought down when we get a bad report but to look Your way so we can see the salvation of our God. Let us not make our weaknesses bigger than Your strength when we face impossible moments. In Jesus name, Amen
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