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For as long as I can remember, I was into sports. Whether racking up swimming medals, slamming a tennis ball with my wicked backhand, or being voted “best athlete” in my senior class, I had found my niche, my life. I was an athlete, and it defined everything about me, even the major I planned on declaring in college.
But athleticism can push a person too far. Only a month after high-school graduation, I broke my neck while attempting an inward pike dive off a raft in the shallows of the Chesapeake Bay. I had assumed I could pull out of the pike in time, but when my head crunched against the sandy bottom, my arms and legs went limp. When they pulled my paralyzed body on shore, I kept thinking, What a stupid dive; why did I do it? Months later, when the permanency of my paralysis began to sink in, I felt my life was over.
Life - Christ - True - Creation - Heart
I was a Christian back then, but life in Christ didn’t define who I was. True, I understood I was a new creation with a new heart, at least in theory, but I didn’t live like it. So, after my accident, I dug into my Bible for help, hoping that Jesus would give me back all that I’d lost. I wanted—I needed—my body back.
I scoured God’s Word for any reference of Jesus healing paralyzed people. One passage caught my attention: Luke 5.
Men - Man - Mat - House - Jesus
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in...
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