Posted by: James and Delores Fields | January 10, 2012

Assets, not Liabilities

     After becoming legally blind and losing my driver’s license at age 29 I made lots of changes in my lifestyle.  Obviously, I could no longer drive so my wonderful wife plus friends at the church became my chauffeurs.  Nobody complained, no one criticized my inability.  In fact, after I gave up my driver’s license I imagined the Board asking me to resign because, after all, who needs a pastor who can’t drive a car.  Well, at the first board meeting after the Department of Public Safety refused to renew my license, the Board told me not to worry about it because they would help me with transportation.

     In spite of everyone’s generous help I had to deal with my own inner attitudes.  As long as I saw myself impaired I was downhearted and very self-critical.  God mercifully continued blessing my ministry—the church grew numerically, spiritually and financially.  Things were going alright until I faced another hurdle with my health.  Four years after losing my driver’s license I watched a Dallas Cowboys Monday night football game.  The strain on the focusing muscles on my eyes was becoming greater and greater, but not until after watching that game did I realize I had to make another lifestyle change.  It took me the rest of the week for my eyes to not feel tired.  I decided that either had to quite watching television or I wouldn’t be able to do anything in life.  I realized the importance of controlling my circumstances and activity so circumstances and activity would not add to my impairment. 

     Whether our impairments is psychological, financial, professional, relational or physical we must not add power to their ability to hinder us.  I could have become more discouraged or even angry about the weakness of the focusing muscles.  The pain could have completely debilitated me.  Instead I decided that God uses impairments in favor of those who see them as assets rather than liabilities.

Praise the Lord

     So, at age 33, I decided my work for the Lord Jesus and my relationship with him demanded that I discontinue watching any television in order to preserve my physical strength for the Lord’s work and seeking him in private communion.  Truly, looking back over the years since then, I realize that God didn’t heal my impairment because he planned better things for me.  Two years later I could no longer use my eyes reading even giant print.  It was no problem to discontinue using my eyes and move to electronic recordings of the Bible.  Then I learned about the Texas State Library for the Blind which has recorded thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of books for the visually impaired.  My wife began reading Scriptures for me during my teaching or preaching.  Things went great!  Professionally Dee and I flourished.  More importantly our walk with God became ever more intimate and exhilarating.  Then we did what people considered impossible: we became missionaries in Asia, returned to America and started a church with zero people and zero assets.  In 1997 we established a non-profit religious organization called Comfort and Encouragement Ministries.

     My point is to ask you to be encouraged.  You can’t do everything you want to do so change your goals.  Refuse to stand still in life, but also refuse to try things exasperate your pain or endanger your life.  Instead of forcing myself to focus on television or print I just quite things that wore me out and caused me to hurt.  There are great ways of getting around impairments that don’t force you just to sit down and do nothing.

     Remember, impairments are not liabilities, they are assets.  You can carry out your responsibilities and enjoy a meaningful life even though you have to do things differently than most people do them.  You are a winner because the Jesus who lives in you is undefeatable!

Mountain Peak

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Responses

  1. Pastor Fields, I thank our God, Lord and savior Jesus Christ for the spirit that he placed on the inside your heart it shows in your sharing Gods word in a timely manor it truly blesses me as if you be knowing what i’am going through, God surely gave you the right name for your ministrey its truly comfort and encouranging. BLESSING


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