Post #1; Purpose of Blog
Since being diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) almost 16 years ago, I’ve become somewhat of a “virtual recluse” (socializing almost exclusively via the Internet and email). I’ve decided to start this blog in a small attempt to counter some of the negative stuff I see and read on other blogs, Facebook and the Internet in general.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from this long trial is that hope, and the joy, peace and faith that always accompany Christ-centered hope, only comes through a conscious determined effort. Or, to put another way, Christian hope is not exempt from the law of decay; it naturally becomes hopelessness if not diligently maintained.
I am not claiming to be some kind of professional cultivator of hope, far from it, but I’ve had my hope challenged many times and I’ve become pretty good at conquering these challenges. I now feel obligated to help others defeat challenges to their hope and this blog will be one of my outlets for doing so.
Actually, my motives are not really that selfless; the truth is that I’ve discovered I lose the battles against hopelessness when I’ve attempted to fight them alone so maybe I can also recruit some people through this blog to help me fight future challenges to my hope. And, as I mentioned, hope must be deliberately maintained so I think this blog will help to stay focused on maintaining my hope.
If you’re like I once was; believing that you could maintain and even increase your hope (joy, peace, faith…) without help from other hope-minded people, I feel for you. Please trust the advice of this once-proud man, you will lose that pride the hard way like I did if you attempt to conquer hopelessness (addictions, depression, faith-challenges etc) on your own. It’s only pride that keeps you fighting these battles by yourself.
“Two are better than one…For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up…and if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Sorry if what I wrote above (regarding pride etc) sounded harsh, but I’m paralyzed and have to type using a computer that tracks my eye-movements; this is tedious and time-consuming so I always take the shortest route possible to get to the point I want to make. Besides, when someone is paralyzed in a wheelchair like I am it’s easier to be blunt and even harsh with people because you don’t pose a threat; people don’t usually hit helpless people in wheelchairs for saying harsh things. I capitalize on this!
Seriously, because I pose no threat and understand what physical, emotional and spiritual battles are like, and probably because I cannot speak, people tend to be more open and honest with me than they would be otherwise. Many people have confessed to me that they’re struggling emotionally and/or spiritually right now. I know of many Christians that, on the outside, appear to have it altogether, but on the inside they’re miserable. These people feel hopeless and are clearly not living the “abundant life” with “joy unspeakable” that the bible describes for followers of Christ.
I would be lying if I said that I felt like I was living that abundant life of indescribable joy and peace all day, every day of the year. I don’t believe we can ever get to the point where we feel like we’re living on cloud nine 24/7, at least not in this life. But I do believe we can retain our Christ-centered hope even through the darkest times. It’s that constant hope that keeps reminding us that, “Weeping may last for the night, But joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
If it’s possible for a man that’s completely paralyzed and unable to speak and eat by mouth etc, to feel that constant God-given sense of hope, I’m convinced that it’s possible for everyone!
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)