One woman, putting on lipstick, said, “Oh, Joni, you always look so together, so happy in your wheelchair. I wish that I had your joy!” Several women around her nodded. “How do you do it?” she asked as she capped her lipstick. “I don’t do it,” I said. “In fact, may I tell you honestly how I woke up this morning?”
“This is an average day,” I breathed deeply. “After my husband, Ken, leaves for work at 6:00 A.M., I’m alone until I hear the front door open at 7:00 A.M. That’s when a friend arrives to get me up.”
“While I listen to her make coffee, I pray, ‘Oh, Lord, my friend will soon give me a bath, get me dressed, sit me up in my chair, brush my hair and teeth, and send me out the door. I don’t have the strength to face this routine one more time. I have no resources. I don’t have a smile to take into the day. But you do. May I have yours? God, I need you desperately.'”
“So, what happens when your friend comes through the bedroom door?” one of them asked. “I turned my head toward her and gave her a smile sent straight from heaven. It’s not mine. It’s God’s.”
“And so,” I said, gesturing to my paralyzed legs, “whatever joy you see today was hard won this morning.” I have learned that the weaker we are, the more we need to lean on God; and the more we lean on God, the stronger we discover him to be.
We’re told that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. The next time you’re tempted to think that you’re too weak, too tired, or too imperfect to accomplish something, remember that you can lean on God. His strength can carry you through.
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