“Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!” If you haven’t guessed by now, I am a child of the 80s and 90s. Even at a young age, I loved superheroes, a love that has continued on in my adult years. My fascination began with a mullet-haired superhero named Captain Planet whose job was to save the world from villains, pollution, and natural disasters. Thankfully, my choice of superheroes has evolved as I've grown older, yet I still love a good story filled with drama, problems, and the overcoming power of good over evil.
Although it may seem silly for a grown woman to love the stories of Spiderman, Thor, Superman, Captain America, Green Lantern, and Iron Man, I find their stories comforting. Every one of these superheroes has a big weakness, the most famous of which is Superman and his aversion to kryptonite. When he’s exposed, he becomes weak and sickly. Yet he always manages to push through his weakness and do great things. If I’m honest, I see truth in the stories of superheroes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people can fly, turn themselves into an iron machine, or have magical hammers that give supernatural strength, although admittedly, I think that would be amazing to see. Yet I think all people, especially those who are sick, have the ability to rise above the limitations of their weaknesses with the help of God.
God is the greatest superhero of them all. He has supernatural strength and power. He is all-knowing. He is everywhere, all the time. Nothing is greater or more powerful than Him, and the wonderful thing about God is He has no weakness. Nothing can weaken or destroy Him, and this amazing, all-powerful God loves each of us. Scripture tells us that when we are God's children and we cry out to Him, He will fill us with His strength and power through His indwelling Holy Spirit. What destroys us is when we try to live by our own abilities. We become like Superman after he’s been exposed to kryptonite – weak, exhausted, and powerless. Yet when we remember that we need God to help us live each day, He will help us rise above the limitations of our sickness and do the amazing things He created us to do.
Will you still have days when you’re sick and unable to do things? Most likely, yes. I still have days when I'm too sick to do anything. Yet having a dream and knowing what my purpose in life is what motivates me each day to get out of bed and try. Sometimes, having small goals is just what it takes to push through and rise above the problems that come with a chronic illness.
In my opinion, every person reading this is a superhero. Either you live with a chronic illness or you’re the caregiver of someone who’s sick, and that makes you special. So you have a weakness; you’re not alone. Everyone does. Your worth isn't found in what you can’t do. Your value comes from how you respond to your weakness and what you do with the gifts God has given you. He has given each of us the ability to rise above our problems and bless and change the world around us, but if all you do is focus on your kryptonite, you will become the victim of your weakness and never fulfill the purpose for which God created you.
It’s time to answer God’s call to action. The world needs to see some real-life superheroes – people who rise above their circumstances and make a difference. Are you in?
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” ~ Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
© September 12, 2013