Living with multiple sclerosis is an adventure. Just when I get used to specific symptoms, new challenges emerge, like weaker arms. These motivate me to find strategies that will help. But accepting help from others when weak from illness is something that can be difficult to do.
At the food store, I asserted myself. “Please pack the items so the bags are light.” The checker loaded each bag with fewer items. But even several cans and a gallon of water feel like a ton of bricks to me. Granted, I don’t look like a weakling. It’s hard for others to understand.
So, nowadays I place my food on the conveyer belt in groups of weight that I can manage.
New symptoms bring greater insight into familiar Bible stories. Such as the story of Joshua’s war with the Amalekites. Moses’s arms became weak. That got my attention.
“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (Exodus 17:11-13)
Instead of simply reading about the battle, I identified with it. Fully understanding the secret of winning a war. Raised arms: a symbol of dependence on God. That I could relate to!
Having a chronic illness weighs on our emotions, challenges our faith. There are times when we need the support of others–people who prop up our faith.
I gain spiritual strength when I see how others depend on God. As long as I follow their example of complete reliance on God, I experience His victory.
People who walk wobbly rely on a strong arm for physical support. And when our faith is unsteady? We can reach out for God’s support.
Hymn: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
—Lyrics by Elisha Albright Hoffman
Prayer: Dear Father, Thank You for sending friends who remind me of Your faithfulness. Face-to-face friends and online ones too. Re-inflating my faith. Reclining in Your love and leaning on Your promises, I gain strength for today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794
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Who has God sent to prop up your faith? How did that person demonstrate a complete trust in Him? What did they do or say? How can you realize that accepting help from others can be an opportunity for people to help?