by Cindy Bleuler Tucker
First published October 15th, 2005. The downtown YMCA has been completely remodeled and is much more handicap accessible. I now swim at the very accessible Siskin Fitness Center.
In today’s devotional time, I read that we were redeemed to become sons of God. One of the prayer suggestions was to pray that I realize more fully what it means to be an heir of God and live that way, as I would live a live of privilege.
Wow! I am a princess, a daughter of the King! Great thought!
But on this particular day, as on as many days, I don’t feel like royalty. For one thing, I have a big “handicap” that doesn’t go away-being paraplegic. It impacts me every day. Some days it takes me 2 hours to get ready for the day. Then its stuff like cats getting in the house, the dog getting out, having to put my wheelchair together to get in and out of the car, and this is just to get out of my driveway! All the while, I am griping, “Lord how am I supposed to do normal stuff like everyone else, let alone great things for You with this burden You have allowed me to have, that it seems, will never go away in this life.”
I get to my destination, the YMCA, and realize I better straighten up and not glare at everyone I see. This gets increasingly unlikely as I have lost my access card. You see, I have to use a special entrance to the Y, go through 2 locked doors, and then use the card to open another locked door to get to the pool area. It is a pain, especially since the card is one more thing to keep up with. Oh, did I mention everyone else can go through the front entrance and get to the pool from the dressing room, without having to deal with cards and locked doors?
I tell myself to stop feeling sorry for myself, get in the pool, and swim. Be thankful for the Y, the pool lift, the lifeguard who helps me, having the time to exercise, and having enough movement to swim.
It is so easy for all of us to say, “God, I would do such great things if only-” If only I wasn’t handicapped, if only I wasn’t sick, if only I wasn’t pregnant, I didn’t have so many kids, I wasn’t so old, I wasn’t so young, if I only had more time, a neater house, more money, more talent. If only, if only.
You hear a lot of people quote Esther and say, “For such a time as this” in reference to when momentous events occur like 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina, and the recent destructive tornadoes that hit Joplin, Ringgold, Tuscaloosa, and Oklahoma. It is true that when tragedy strikes, we see God’s hand at work through many heroes.
But most of the time “for such a time as this” refers to the every day grind. I wasn’t created to be a great witness only in times of crisis. I was created to live in victory every day. Every routine, uneventful, busy, little things going wrong day of my life. And even though I have had catastrophic things happen to me and those I love, even in the midst of all the suffering around me, I still have to be reminded of this. Not “if only,” for such a time as this-be a son or daughter of the King. be royal- through God’s mercy and grace.