Hi all! Most of my recent posts have been of a strict theological and philosophical nature. I would like to take a breather and share on a more personal level before continuing the Jesus Who? series next time.
Most nights, I sleep well. But the other night, I awoke before 5:00 AM and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I looked over at the clock and thought, “Two hours until my attendant arrives, and I can get up.“
For those of you who may be new to this blog, I m a quadriplegic. If you are unfamiliar with my story, I want to encourage you to pick up a copy of my book, Eternity in View.
I am completely paralyzed from the chest down and have limited use of my arms. At night, I sleep with arm splints to stretch my arms and keep them as straight as possible.
Following my injury in 1990 and subsequent therapy, therapists and attendants continued stretching my legs daily, much like I did throughout my gymnastics years. But I neglected to have my arms stretched, thinking it unnecessary due to daily use. What I did not realize was that my arms gradually lost the ability to straighten.
I had full use of my biceps, and they remained strong, but due to my disability, I had no use of my triceps. I could bend my arms easily but could not straighten them, other than to let gravity do the work.
A couple of years ago, I realized that my now limited range of motion detrimentally affected the functionality of my arms. I knew that I needed to do something to stretch them out. My options were either surgery or stretches.
Surgery would be the quickest option, but my therapist warned me that there would be a risk of losing some of my current functionality, a risk I was not willing to take. And so I began to daily have my arms stretched using splints and range of motion exercises.
At night, with my arms in splints, I am completely helpless and unable to move. The most that I can do is to move covers on or off my face using my neck and teeth.
At times like this, unable to fall asleep and unable to move, my body and living conditions leave me feeling trapped. In such situations, all I can do is to think and pray.
I find myself pondering God and wishing that I could get out of bed to not only think about issues but to write out my thoughts so as not to lose them. Capturing my thoughts in writing sometimes takes days, as I frequently get caught up in the busyness of life immediately after getting out of bed. But I would have to wait, left lying with only my thoughts and prayers.
My caregiver arrives each morning at 7:00 and begins to get me dressed and ready for the day, a process that takes an hour and a half to two hours. After he leaves, around 8:30 to 9:00, I begin work as a computer programmer at Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories, where I have worked for twenty-four years.
Before the pandemic, I began most days working from home and went into the office mid-morning. I then worked most of the day at work, coming home late afternoon and finishing my workday at home. Evenings were and still are primarily family time, but at least for now, I spend nearly my entire day up until around 6:00 working from home.
During the day, I require close contact with others, help with getting food and drinks, and assistance with restroom matters. Wearing a mask all day is also not feasible, as I cannot put it on or take it off independently and need to drink a lot to keep well hydrated for urinary tract health. So until the restrictions and social distancing guidelines are no longer enforced, I am consigned to work from home.
After spending the evening with the family, my days typically conclude with an hour or so of care at 10:00.
I long for the return of my Lord and Savior and release from the bondage of my disability, but there is more inclusive bondage that imprisons every human being, the bondage of sin.
We are all trapped with no hope of escape apart from the grace of God, available to each of us because of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The apostle Paul speaks of this bondage in Romans 7.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:14-25)
The Bible teaches that Jesus will come again, and I am ready to go with Him to be with my Savior forever, free from the bondage to sin and with a new body, with which I look forward to worshiping and glorifying God eternally,
You, too, can have this assurance. Jesus died to pay the penalty for all sin, that everyone who believes in Him may experience freedom from the bondage to sin and receive eternal life. For more information on how you can be saved, please see my page, How Can I Be Saved?