|When I speak, my message is often about how God has helped me grow leaps and bounds using my wheelchair. However, one time after I gave that message, a woman approached me and said, “Joni, don’t worry. One day you’ll be normal, just like us.” She missed the point.
I wasn’t offended by the woman’s comment so much as saddened that she was making the mistake described in 1 Samuel 16:7. She was looking at the outward appearance. She inferred that I envied her ability to stand. In her view “normal” meant having a body that “worked,” even if it was slightly overweight with a touch of arthritis.
We Christians need to shift our thinking and “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). God is concerned about unseen things like patience, sensitivity, faith, goodness, perseverance, and self-control. We are normal in God’s eyes when we demonstrate endurance and long-suffering, when we keep looking to the unseen things. This is the normal Christian life. You can live it whether you’re five foot two standing or four foot three sitting. You can live it whether you have varicose veins from walking or atrophied muscles from being paralyzed.
I will not be normal someday; I am normal right now. So are you if you abide by 2 Corinthians 4:18, fixing your eyes on what’s important eternally. Take a look in your heart to check whether its “time” is correct.
Lord, so many of my thoughts are caught up in the here and now that I forget that if I can see it, it’s temporary. Enable me to fix my gaze on what’s important, the eternal.