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Annointed Beauty Daily Devotions Ministry


“Bent Out of Shape”

by Sabine René

                 About a week ago, I was on the E train heading home from work and decided to pull out a book to read to pass the time.  As I reached into my bag, a woman boarded the train and began speaking.  Her voice was trembling and you could hear the tears in her throat.  She had Scoliosis, a condition that causes the spine to curve too much in the wrong direction.  Doctors don’t know what causes the most common type of scoliosis, but sometimes, an underlying disease that affects the neuromuscular system, a leg-length discrepancy, or a birth defect may cause scoliosis.  It can also begin in a fetus during fetal development and can result in congenital scoliosis, a type of birth defect that affects the development of the vertebrae and often occurs with other congenital problems.  Scoliosis runs in families and may involve genetic (hereditary) factors.           

While the woman made her way through the train car sharing her story of suffering and illness, those who were moved, offered her a donation.  Now, we all know that “pan-handling” is illegal on NYC trains, but occasionally, you’ll find individuals stirred with compassion who render their spare change to the unfortunate and down-trodden.  As I looked upon this frail frame, I could see the pain in her eyes and began to engage her in a conversation.  She explained to me how long she’d been ill and hospitalized on several occasions due to complications in her kidneys and gall bladder.  She even lifted up her shirt to show me the scars on her lower back from spinal correction surgery where rods were placed in her spine and pins in her legs to keep her upright.  As I sat there, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.  And though, our conversation was brief, I managed to encourage her with these words, “I’ll keep you in my prayers”.  She then slowly disappeared through the train to the next car.

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A native of Brooklyn, NY, Sabine René was privileged to be raised in a Christian home.  Sabine is a member in good standing at the Eben-Ezer French Seventh-day Adventist Church since 1990 and has taken her call to ministry seriously and has been entrusted with the appointment of several offices in her local congregation.  These include:  Adventist Youth Leader, Education Secretary, Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Sabbath School Secretary/Teen Class Instructor, Youth Choir Director, Community Service Secretary, Health & Temperance Secretary, and Assistant Church Clerk.  She is also very active in her community as a mentor, missionary, Special Events Coordinator of Voices for Haiti, Inc. (a Christian non-for-profit organization with the mission to educate, feed, clothe, shelter, and provide free medical services to the poor and disenfranchised in Haiti), His Way Missionary Choir, and a member of the Northeastern Conference Youth Advisory Council, in which she currently holds the position of Franco-Haitian Youth Federation President. 

Her ultimate goal in life is to fulfill the Divine Design while assisting both young and old in making their calling and election sure and finishing her “race”.

 

Sabine’s text of personal reflection is 1 Timothy 1:12,

 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who had enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”.

 

            A flood of thoughts rushed into my mind as this encounter led me to think of how bent out of shape we all are and how we’ve been affected by a degenerative disease, called SIN.  It has not only created chaos in the environment, but contorted and disfigured us.  Sin has compromised our “neuromuscular system” and has caused our lives to be curved in the wrong direction, in addition to causing a plethora of complications.  Some things that have been bent out of shape as a result of sin include:

       Relationships (i.e. parents, siblings, friends, spouse, etc.)

       Finances (i.e. unemployment, debt, indulgences, etc.)

       Attitude (i.e. limited vision, pessimism, frustration, etc.)

       Health (i.e. physical, mental, emotional, etc.)

       Our FAITH IN GOD (i.e. church fellowship, see Hebrews 11:6)           

And while I reflected on the burdens, worries, deceptions, hypocrisies, fads, and inconsistencies that have us bent over, I began to praise God for CALVARY.  I thanked God for the cross, for when all hope was lost and the enemy purposed to keep me in a permanent state of curvature, Jesus stepped out of heaven and bent over backwards to save me and YOU.  For the bible declares in Philippians 2:6-8, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (see Isaiah 53, Romans 5:8).  The same scriptures also promise us a complete restoration of our image in Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:52-54.  Therefore, that which seeks to secure us in a place of total despair, anguish, incapacitation, really doesn’t have power over us, because Jesus became our “rod and pins”.             

The amazing part of this salvific epic, is that Jesus will be the only individual throughout eternity left with the scars (see John 20:16-27; Revelation 5:6; 13:8).  Moreover, while we continue to endure the plight and consequences of the congenital sin birth defect, struggling to deal with day to day living, I encourage you to always keep in mind that Jesus offered his life for yours and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding in your behalf making provision for you to live upright.  There is indeed cause to rejoice!  So, no matter what has you bent out of shape today, the fact remains, Jesus has all power in heaven and in earth to make the crooked paths straight (Isaiah 42:16; 45:2).  Call on him and you’ll never be the same!  Grace & Peace.

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