Devotional: August 21st
Many famous people have overcome some sort of physical difficulty to excel at what they do. Even some who were infamous became so through overcoming some handicap. Tamerlane, the Tartar who conquered all the land from India to Russia in the fourteenth century, was partially paralyzed. His name actually meant, "Timur the Lame." His feat is all the more remarkable when it is noted that superstition was rampant in the fourteenth century to the point where paralysis was viewed as a curse and those so afflicted were normally put to death.
In more modern times such celebrities as Rob Lowe, who is deaf in right ear, and David Duchovny, who is blind in his right eye due to a basketball accident, have risen in their chosen craft despite their problems. Action hero Nicolas Cage performs in such movies well considering he suffers from vertigo. Old time singer Johnny Ray used to struggle to hear the bass and keep tempo. The reason? Ray was nearly deaf. Even with powerful hearing aids he was barely able to continue singing with any ability.
There was one person who actually capitalized on her malady. A performer named Sober Sue was hired by Oscar Hammerstein to entertain during a play's intermission. Her entire act was to stand onstage while people competed for a $1,000 prize if they could make her laugh. Comedians came from all over New York to win the prize but all failed. What they didn't know was that Sober Sue was sober looking for a reason. Her face was paralyzed. It was physically impossible for her to laugh.
Want something else that is impossible? It is impossible for mankind to be holy enough to impress God to the point where salvation is earned. In other words, we are all good enough to go to hell. Not exactly the kindest words for your morning, but, nonetheless, given with the kindest of motives. If only we suffered from a sin paralysis whereby we could not sin due to the paralysis of the ability to respond to temptation. No such good fortune. We are stuck with the free will God gave us which frustrates us as we give in to temptation. Why does temptation work?
"Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." James 1:14, 15 To have a wife is a desire. To take another's wife is desire gone awry. That is our weakness. That is our affliction. Satan knows our weak points and works them for all they're worth until we give in to them. It is time to hear the Word of the Lord and open our eyes to His salvation and accept that life of balance before sin paralyzes our souls forever.
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