In 2004, Bernadette was featured on the front page of the Florida Baptist Witness as one of Florida's godly women making a difference. In 2006, the weekly paper also commended her for her mission work. What's so special about this lady? Well, in her own words, "my mouth is the only part of my body that works well." You see, Bernadette was afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy from the age of 5 and was not expected to live past the age of 8. Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive illness that wastes away the muscles. However, God had other plans for Bernadette and today she is 43 years old, in a wheelchair and using the only part of her body that still works to bring glory to God.
She makes me feel so inadequate. Me, with my strong arms and legs and a body that works. The Bible says, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" Philippians 4:13. We may be strong physically, but compared to Bernadette we are weak if we are not doing what the Lord has called us to do. Let us ask God for strength and guidance to use what He has given us to bring Him glory. Paul said, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully" (Romans 12: 6-8).
Let us resolve today to do all that we can for God while there is still time and while we are still physically or mentally capable. If you are not able to do anything, maybe you can give and if you can't give you can pray. God needs you.
|Bernadette and husband, Jeff|