Patriot Hope: Injury or Infirmity Doesn’t Mean You Lack Purpose

An engraving of Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer o...
An engraving of Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At (In)Courage, I wrote What Your Facial Expression Says. In that article, I spoke about how much our facial features and voice speak more effectively than our words. Many prayer requests were posted in the comments, and one reminds me of today’s Patriot Hope post:

Kingfisher said:

I’ve had chronic illness all my life, with accompanying weakness. Year by year the list of serious maladies grows longer. I haven’t been out of pain in well over 20 years. On a good day, I can manage to walk 2 or 3 blocks before I have to sit and rest to catch my breath. (Fortunately, my very small town has benches in every block downtown). On bad days, I can walk from bedroom to kitchen as needed (that is, several times a day), but only with tears and sighs.

So many bloggers are writing excitedly about all their activities, and how they are fulfilling great, God-given dreams, but don’t realize there are some who can only look on wistfully, from afar. The Bible says to praise him in all things, and so, I do, the harder the burden, the more singing hymns and loudly determinedly reciting scriptures, sometimes through tears or gritted teeth. I can thus offer him a sacrifice of praise and present my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in his sight.

I rejoice that some people have caring friends who cook for them and run errands and offer shoulders to cry on and make eye contact and give out gentle smiles and quiet caring. And understand the need to “be present” but not try to “fix” things. Such persons can be a great comfort to those with quasi-short-term needs, but few people remember, or have the emotional and physical constitution to carry through — or even KNOW ABOUT — persons with lifelong needs and grieving for all the things that have been lost.

I’m thankful that Almighty God doesn’t give up on loving and valuing his kids (though sometimes we may not “feel his presence”).

Thomas Nelson, Jr., called The Virginian, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Did you know he suffered memory loss a year after the Declaration was signed? He left congress, but instead of wasting away in his home, the state of Virginia chose him to be Brigadier General Nelson of the militia to defend Philidelphia at General Washington’s side. He had to raise money (most, Santorum says, came from his own pocket) and volunteer corps. No action did the militia endure, but the expedition was said to aide Nelson’s health. In 1779, he recovered and served as a delegate again. He became Virginia’s governor while through his own contributions keeping the troops funded. Nelson even asked that his home get shelled. General Cornwallis had commandeered that home. Nelson willingly gave up his own home to be shelled in order to gain victory at Yorktown.

Shortly thereafter, Nelson became ill again and never recovered. Colonel James Innes wrote of him, “Entertaining the most ardent love for civil and religious liberty, (Nelson) was among the first of that glorious band of patriots whose exertions dashed and defeated the machinations of British tyranny.” Still another fellow officer commended Nelson for his integrity and selflessness. George Washington had kind words to say of Nelson, too.

Illness doesn’t mean we lack purpose. There are many examples nowadays of people with chronic illnesses or those who lack limbs who serve God in amazing ways, like Joni Eareckson Tada and Nick Vujicic.

Pray for Kingfisher today and others. How can you encourage someone with chronic illness or injuries to find their purpose in God?

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