Enroute home from Orlando one day, I heard Joni Eareckson Tada speaking of “my friend, Hugh Ross”. Joni is a beautiful, courageous woman, who has been a paraplegic since she was 17.
She shared Hugh has Asperger’s, a form of autism. Hugh is a brilliant astrophysicist and founder of Reasons to Believe (RTB).
A few years ago, my daughter gave me a gift of an astronomy course with RTB. I had the privilege of sitting under Hugh’s teaching and his course had a huge impact on my life.
It’s easy to focus on a disability or limitation or to feel defined by the past and allow that to become your identity.
It’s also easy to focus on failure, your own or the failure of a person who rubs you the wrong way or wounded you in the past.
When Hugh was young, he developed a love for the heavens. As he turned his eyes upward, over time he learned the name of about 2,000 stars. Today, he can point those stars out, each by name.
Hugh chose to lift his eyes to the heavens and stars became his focus. Years later he gave his life to Christ. Today, as a scientist, whose focus is Christ and the heavens – he has a powerful ministry as he speaks into lives of those who are interested in science or the stars.
Both Joni and Hugh chose not to let their disabilities define them. They both delight in the wonder of God’s personal love for them. Both made the will choice to embrace life with its complexities and its joys.
You are not defined by your failures, your wounds, your disabilities, or any dis-ease in your life. You are not defined by your feelings! The Lord loves and esteems you of having great value. He died to give you a beautiful identity based in truth and life.
Choose wisely, my friend! Turn from anything that reduces you or limits your freedom. Focus on life. Why? Because your focus will either hold you captive and produce a root of bitterness. Or it will take you to the stars!
And the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10