A Lesson from Christopher Reeves

Here is the devotional that goes with the previous post. I am sorry that that part did not publish.

“Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” —Job 14:5

A few years back when I watched Christopher Reeve on television (the actor who was severely paralyzed in a riding accident), I was deeply moved. Although he sat stiff and rigid in his wheelchair, he smiled courageously as he puffed-and-sipped his mouth controls to steer his chair. The day after the program aired, I kept running into people who said, “Did you see Christopher on TV last night? Isn’t he an inspiration?”

I smiled and nodded “yes,” but thought, just last week everyone was talking about assisted suicide for people like him. It is not consistent. One day letters to the editor applaud the courage of the severely disabled; the next, the editorial column can be filled with letters cheering on the new legislation legalizing assisted suicide. One day Christopher Reeve was positioned as “a helpless victim.” The next, a picture of courage.

It tells me that society keeps a double standard. Society thinks it is appropriate to prevent able-bodied people from committing suicide, but considers it rational for a terminally ill or severely incapacitated person to end his life. More importantly, it shows that we lack confidence in God’s ability to sustain those who suffer.

God gives common grace to non-believers who suffer and God gives special grace to believers who suffer. Is someone close to you terminally ill or severely incapacitated? Pray that God will give them grace today. Show a skeptical society the truth of 1 Corinthians 16:19-20, “You are not your own… Therefore, honor God with your body.” At all times, no matter how physically or mentally limited we are, it is the Lord of life who gives breath. Be the Lord’s hands to help a suffering friend today. Through prayer and encouragement, help this hurting friend understand that life is worth living.

Help me to shatter the schizophrenia as I share with others that you are the Lord of life. Help me to support the hurting and encourage the dying. Praise you for helping people like Christopher Reeve… using people like me.

Taken from More Precious Than Silver. © 1998 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530.

 

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