When we feel as though we have been arrested and punished with illness, a prisoner in our body, Vicki shares why we should see how other have dealt with this lot.
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1).”
Think you could survive six years of torture and starvation in a North Vietnamese prison cell? Would it be possible to fight off prison thinking?
A former Navy fighter pilot, Captain Charlie Plumb managed.
In “The Triumph of an Ordinary Man” Charlie challenges his audiences to “fight off ‘prison thinking,’ in which ‘you think of yourself as a prisoner—you blame everybody else, you think you are the victim of circumstance and not the master.’”
Charlie endured six years of filth, brutality, and loneliness with God as his master. We, too, have God as our master who gives us the power to view our circumstances differently.
Charlie’s not the only example of a human who viewed circumstances differently. Paul compels us to praise God always. If he can sing in a cell, we can rejoice in our prison.
“He put them in the inner cell. . . About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:24-25).
Paul was able to assure fellow believers.
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ” (Philippians 1:12-13).
That positive attitude didn’t come easy. “. . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11).
How did he learn it? By constant trials.
“Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. . . . Are they servants of Christ? I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again” (2 Corinthians 11:18, 23).
Many pray that the progression of their disease will someday be arrested. Until then, we remain imprisoned by our symptoms. But we need not have prison thinking. It helps to look to others who have it worse.
Like Paul. Like Charlie Plumb. Harder situations–but same God.
Prayer: Dear Father, Please renew my thinking. Rid me of prison thinking that steals my life away. Help me live this day victoriously by Your grace. Shift my focus from symptoms and challenges to opportunities that can be used by You. As Your prisoner, I want to live my life with this disability in a way that’s worthy of Your calling. Help me honor You in what I do 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 blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/
How have you been able to view your misery as a ministry?
This is one of those songs that you sit and take into your soul. “Healer of the Broken” is by a friend if mine, Gwen Smith. all of her music takes me straight into worship mode and I hope it blesses you today too. -Lisa