Walking again will not be that great

Let’s say tonight something supernatural happens. As I am in deep sleep, my snore is reverberating throughout the room. Meanwhile, my body starts coming to life. Sensation starts to run up and down my arms and legs as I slowly come out of sleep. My brain starts to comprehend what is occurring and I begin to bend my fingers and wiggle my toes. “It’s really happening,” I think to myself as excitement continues to build.

I start to move around, realizing what I’m now capable of. I sit up and look around at my functioning body, now fully awake and ready to take on the day. I hop out of bed and stroll into the shower for the first dose of hot water I can feel trickling down my body in six years.

The possibilities would be endless.

But first of course, I would kick the wheelchair to the curb.

wheelchair

Would that be awesome? Absolutely.

For six years I’ve held onto hope that one way or another, that day will come. It used to consume me as a 21-year-old desperate to get back to college life.

While the belief still remains, over time it has become less of a priority. I’m realizing now more than ever that my ultimate hope is not in walking again.

There’s a verse that I have been focusing on lately, which may seem obscure at first glance:
“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.” (Acts 13:36)

David is one of the heroes of the Bible. Esteemed King. Great conqueror of the giant Goliath. The Bible states that he “fulfilled his purpose” and was a man after God’s heart. I sure would like that to be my epitaph. Yet, despite all the amazing things he saw, did, and conquered, this man’s life still came to an end. He still died. His body went into the ground. And it decayed.

Mine will do the same.

Recently I experienced the first weekend of 2015 where I was actually able to be sitting up in my chair for the entire weekend, rather than spending at least part of a day in bed. It was amazing not spending one more afternoon staring at this:

Ceiling

On top of that, I have been pretty excited about just about everything going on right now. This summer I got engaged. I’m having a great time with the high school guys who meet at my house on Sundays. I’m back up in my chair. I’m nearing graduation from the University of Cincinnati.

All this, and yet my physical status will just not improve. I’m immobile, my muscles are tight and uncomfortable, I’m sleep deprived, and the majority of time I’m stuck inside while it’s a nice, sunny fall day outside.

The fact is, nothing’s ever going to be perfect on this earth.

Even if I get miraculously healed tomorrow- as exciting as that would be- I would not be immune to another car accident, debilitating sickness, or, at the very least, growing old and losing the impossible battle of sustaining my physical body over time.

Regardless of the state of my physical body, as long as I’m on this earth I’m still going to experience pain. I’m going to experience loss. I’m going to experience heartbreak.

If you’re staring at your device thinking, “Wow…what a depressing way to look at life,” bear with me. I’ve actually found great hope in this.

I can almost hear Jesus’s good friend John reassuring me I have even greater reason for hope: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:14)

There is just no getting around the fact that my physical body will eventually end up decaying in the ground. If I jump out of bed tomorrow with fully functioning legs and my circumstances continue to be smooth sailing, it is still going to come to an end.

That’s too small a thing to put my hope in.

However, I take great comfort in knowing that I will one day live again fully in the presence of Jesus. On this day there will be no more pain. No more sickness. No more tears.

No matter how good stuff gets here on earth, it’s not even going to come close to that.

Maybe that’s why we have to endure hardship during this short life. To make sure we don’t get too comfortable. To make sure we don’t mistake this earth for our true home.

Nothing’s going to be perfect in this lifetime, but one day it will be. As the song below alludes to, there will be a day when I’ll come face to face with my Creator and everything will be made right.

Forever.

Now that’s something worth putting my hope in.

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12 thoughts on “Walking again will not be that great

  1. Ryan, Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful perspective! The hope we have in Jesus is so amazing!! This verse comes to mind:

    2 Corinthians 4:16-17, New International Version (NIV)

    16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

    God bless,
    Jen Schretter

  2. Ryan, I am always amazed at the perspective you are able to impart to all of us, through this journey. You share eternal truth. I am SO blessed to know you. You have no idea how much your spiritual walk has impacted me. In fact, I would say your spiritual “race” – because you are in full stride my brother! Keep on sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Earth is temporary. Eternity is forever! Bless you, bro!

  3. Man, Ryan. I just want to scream Hallelujah!!! I shared your blog on FB. I am SO praying through ripple effect and shares from all who follow you, that thousands will read it. your perspective is RIGHT ON THE MARK. WE NEED TO HEAR this time and time again. We as christians can be so prone to try to “set up camp” this side of eternity, and be so temporal bound in focus, when we are just “passing through”. Our goal like David, is to be focused on Christ, and fulfill His purpose for us in the short wisp of time we have here. Nothing can steal our witness for Christ, no matter the outward, temporal circumstance…. and our eternal hope remains as a sure anchor to our souls. Bless you, bro! I so appreciate you.

    Sue

    >

  4. Your blog brings up the same question I never really fully answer myself. Should we pray for healing for those with serious physical issues when we know health is only temporary or should we pray that the one suffering comes to the conclusions you have? Or something else?

    Thanks for sharing your conclusions.

  5. Best post yet, in my opinion. There is nothing so beautiful as a person who is content in adversity because Christ is more than enough. Of course, I’ll still pray for healing, and it is easy for me to say in regards to health, because I’ve not trod your path. Nevertheless……Christ is all.

  6. I wanted to add to my previous comments – You have godly perspective, but even so, that does not diminish my “press” and resolve to contend in prayer to see your breakthrough of healing. I never withdraw faith to see your miracle, but boy do you have the right heart attitude in the process, and by that, you are shining so brightly for Christ, and pointing to the true unshakeable riches of His sufficiency, that nothing in this world can take away.

  7. Oh Ryan… I am a blubbering mess, but that’s OK. Actually it’s a good thing. What you have said here is totally what I needed to hear – right now! I am just catching up on your blog. I feel like you’ve peek into my heart and say ‘oh, this one will get right to her’.

    Honestly I have been having a particularly difficult time physically for the last couple of month and at first I thought I was handling things quite well. Other things have been thrown at me, as I am sure you can totally relate to, and my thoughts and emotions are a far cry from where I KNOW I should be.

    I know that this is not our eternal home. I have my eyes fixed on heaven. But perhaps I am thinking… ‘oh boy, I can’t WAIT until I get there’! I have times, like these when I just want to get to heaven ASAP. I know that Jesus said that we’d have trials, but take heart because He has overcome the world! And the one that is a real head tilter ‘consider it PURE JOY when you face trials…!. REALLY? I’m not feeling joyous. I am just being real. I think you know by now that I am strong believer and have my eyes fixed on the Lord. Maybe I need to cut myself some slack. GRACE GRACE GRACE…. that’s what I often tell others. I just need to cry and not hold it in or pretend that all is well ALL of the time. I want to be a person of integrity much more than just appearing as a happy go lucky soul.

    I am just processing, Ryan. Do you wait to write your posts until you’re in a ‘good place’ (good mood)? Or do you stay in that mindset of which you speak of here?

    The words to that song were just what I needed. Music speaks volumes (pun) to me. Really it does. Seeing the words certainly helps to make it stick even more.

    Sorry… I realize that many of my comments end up being about me! I realize that. I have my own struggles and I suppose when I read your blog it just makes me consider where I am on the topic. And I am a processor.

    I’ll stop rambling and get to your most recent post about your engagement!

    Thanks for the continued encouragement and REVELATION & REMINDER of THE truth. It helps this gal.

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