In the last three years since an accident mangled my legs, and in the last five months since half my leg was removed, people have told me that I am an inspiration. Each time I hear that, different feelings well up. Sometimes I feel inspiration myself. I am humbled. Sometimes I feel confused. I wonder in what way people are inspired. Does it mean they will change something?
Sometimes when I’m told I’m an inspiration, I feel guilty. This is because I feel fraudulent. My family has seen how sensitive I can be. They see how my moods swing increasingly as time goes by. My wife, Kathy, as seen me crumble and cry. When I think of this, along with the number of times I’ve fallen while trying to learn to walk again, an inspiration is the last thing I could be to anyone. Or is it?
I’ve never tried to inspire someone – it just happens, I think. But let’s try this once. Meet me where I am right now – in one of my very low places. Let’s talk to our souls together and ask “why, my soul, are you downcast?” Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:5).
Then let your soul answer. My soul would answer “I am downcast because my body always has pain and it doesn’t work the way it used to. It’s being fed drugs that don’t help the mood. I am stressed over a very long, gruelling legal process. I’m so tired. I feel useless.”
(You fill in the blank here – what would your soul say? __________________________________________)
Then let’s comfort our souls together and say, “Put your hope in God, for I will praise him, my Saviour and my God (Psalm 42:5).
Then let’s focus on our very real, eternal future: “My soul, I ‘…do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary afflictions are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”’ (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)
“And, soul, even if my circumstances were far worse, I could still say the same: that they are light and momentary afflictions or troubles. The glory I’ll share with Christ forever in person will outweigh them all by far!”
Now read Psalm 42 and 43 until your soul agrees that he or she thirsts for the fountain of living water — God, my joy and my delight.