You’re Not Normal

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Joni and Friends
You’re Not Normal

by Joni Eareckson Tada

“The LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”

1 Samuel 16:7

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.

Taken from More Precious than Silver

By Joni Eareckson Tada

Copyright © 1998
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.

For More Inspiration…

Every day, when Joni wheels up the ramp to her office, she sings a hymn. Listen Now for one of her favorites on the radio!

How does a pastor with no background in disability support special needs ministry at their church, instead of just allowing it to happen? Read Now on the blog.

The Luke 14 Project is transforming the lives of children and families living in isolation around the world. Read Now to hear how little Louie in Haiti received the hope of Jesus!

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