Oscar Pistorius was born without fibulae in both legs and they were both amputated below the knee. But that didn't slow him down and he found himself competing in the London 2012 Olympics. He made history by being the first double amputee to compete in the games and he made it to the semifinals in the individual 400. After he began competing against "able-bodied" athletes, it was determined that he had an advantage over the other runners. An advantage...imagine that! After further research, it was determined that the initial ruling was incorrect and he was unanimously given permission to continue competing in international races. He may have been given the label of "disabled"; however, he chose to break free from that label to enjoy running at an Olympic level. We are often given labels by the world or the people around us that boxes us in from who we would like to be. Labels can be things that have started with birth such as "developmentally disabled", or they can be bestowed upon by someone's actions such as "victim." But today, I want to continue looking at Judah's story and his interaction with Tamar and see how she chose not to accept her plight in life; please read Genesis 38:12-30.
After both of his older sons died, Judah promised his 3rd and youngest son to Tamar when he got old enough to marry her so she could have a child for her first husband. But, he secretly didn't intend to have him marry her because he was afraid that he would die as well. When Tamar noticed that he was of age and Judah still hadn't offered him to her, she decided to take things into her own hands to have a baby for her first husband. I am by no means advocating her behavior of tricking Judah, but what she did was refuse to accept the label of motherless widow. In the end, Judah was the one to admit that he had wronged her and she regained her dignity. But notice the last few verses of Genesis 38. She had twins and the baby who was going to be considered the second born broke out and was born first. He was named Perez which means breaking out.
We do not have to get boxed in by the world's expectations of us because when we are in Christ we are given a much better expectation. Romans 8:31 (NLT) says, "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" It continues on in Romans 8:37 (NLT), "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." Overwhelming victory is ours! Wow! Those are powerful words...overwhelming victory. I like how it is worded in NIV as well, "we are more than conquerors." We can break out from the world's underwhelming expectations and choose to live and believe who God says we are.
Are you ready to break out?
This post is linked with Thought Provoking Thursday and the Grace Cafe.