You Are So Loved
Recently I read a blog post by Sarah Bessey titled “I Used To Think God Wanted A Lot From Me”. It is a very thought-provoking essay on how we get caught up in thinking we have to do many things for God, when what God wants for us is “freedom” from our chains. He wants to rescue us! He loves us sooo much that He was willing to walk around as a person and to die a horrible death on the cross so we could be set free from the chains of death and sin. When we understand what He wants FOR us; how much He loves us, we overflow with His love and joy and peace and from this overflow we naturally do those “things” we once thought were “stuff I have to do for God.”
The reason this resonated with me, was because I had been feeling unimportant and “put aside.” It seemed to me that if I wasn’t able to work as a nurse and be involved with church and community projects, that I was done for. Sarah’s article got me thinking about this issue another way. As Christians, sometimes we forget that God is mysterious. Just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean that we have been shoved aside for bad behavior. God never stops loving us.
When I cannot DO church ministry projects due to my physical health, I can still overflow with God’s love, peace, and joy. We can do what we can with what we have. We can still BE a light in a dark place. I can pray for people and show kindness. For example, when hospitalized I often will pray for the other patients around me. I try to be pleasant with the hospital staff, because I know that not all of them know Jesus. I can only do this, because I intentionally read the Bible and pray a lot more while in the hospital trying to keep my own spirits up and God enables me to think of others even though I am miserably ill.
Really, can you think of any greater witness to Jesus’ love than our being able to have His peace and joy even when sick in the hospital. It is very easy to be joyful when everything is going well. Perhaps we’ll cause someone to stop and think “Why does this sick person have this peace about them, when I would be freaking out if I were in their shoes?”
Very few of us visit a hospital just to talk to people about Jesus. Hospitals are scary places, as we know all too well! We have an opportunity to minister to others while we are in waiting rooms and hospital beds. I know how hard it is to be in these places when I don’t feel well. I get cranky and frustrated. But I can choose to focus on my misery or to look around me and see who else is struggling as well. At the very least, we can commiserate with each other!
Some times we are too ill or in too much pain to be aware of others’ needs. It’s okay to just rest in Jesus in those times. Maybe our family and visitors will shine that light for us. Those of us with chronic illnesses definitely do have a way to minister Jesus’ love to the world! We are valuable friends!! Remember Jesus is holding you in His strong and gentle hands and no one can snatch you out of them! You are so loved!