Monday, June 30, 2008

Quiet Moments With God--Who or What Defines You?

Recently when referring to myself I said, “I’ve been old since I was thirty-nine.” The statement stayed with me. And gradually I got a glimpse of how I view myself. I didn’t like what I saw.

In 1991 a log truck hit the van I was driving. In a moment, my life changed. I wasn’t the person I’d always been. I was altered, physically, emotionally and spiritually. What I couldn’t understand then was how profoundly the accident would impact my life. God, being who He is, brought many good things to me through the challenges that followed. But life, being what it is, also brought harm.

For seventeen years, I’ve fought to embrace the new me. When I made the statement about being old, I realized that I’ve been giving the accident too much freedom in my life. I’ve allowed it to define who I am.

I’m all for adversity building strength and character, but there can also be negative effects from hardships. In some ways my thinking has been sightless.

It is Christ who defines me, no one else. At least that’s the way it should be.

We all need to see ourselves through God’s eyes. We’re not walking accidents or hobbling cripples. Even when our stride is weak or a bit gimpy that doesn’t mean we’re not strong in Him, or that we’re someone other than who He intended us to be.

The accident changed my life, but I’m still me. I’m still that person who loved to ride horses, who played in the surf, who split firewood and helped build my home. I can’t do those things anymore, but I remember the joy of a strong, active body. And when I'm thinking straight I remember that there’s a lot more to me than just physical activities and pain free days.

Sometimes, unnecessarily, we leave behind the things we love. Maybe we ought to consider what we can still do rather than think about what we can’t do. I can still be a good friend, still worship, cheer at my grandson’s baseball games, and I can still drive a boat across a mountain lake. And most importantly, Christ lives in me and spurs me on to live for Him.

Life is full of fun and surprises. Yes, I have limitations, but don’t we all?

What is it that defines you? Does God agree with your definition? If you’re not sure, then go to The One who has the answer. He’s dying to tell you.

Grace and peace to you from God.


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