Wearily pulling myself out of self loathing yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit with a friend whom is no longer able to walk and is finishing out her young life knowing that she is fading away into the arms of her savior. I was so blessed and refreshed by the visit, that I had to ask God’s forgiveness for the moments prior to our time together. After all, I had been questioning what good was going to come of such a visit when I was so tired from battling my pneumonia for the last 3 weeks. I did not feel like smiling, I just wanted to sleep and rest in the comfort of my living room. Venturing out into the cold was not appealing, even though I had an errand I had to run prior to the visit. I pondered forgoing the errand and the visit. It’s amazing how God uses times like those to touch our inner being, reminding us that there is so much to do and so little time for the joy of the Lord to be shared with others. I came home physically tired, yet spiritually uplifted. My original intention of visiting my friend was because I thought I was going to bless her, yet, God blessed me instead with a sustainable energy that kept me going for the rest of the night and He reminded me of the grace of humility.
There is no place for self loathing or a self serving attitude for Christians who know Him.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you , declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14
For the last year, life has had it’s ups and downs with my diagnosis of Lyme Disease. The loneliness of having a physical disability is only known by those who are also afflicted with such circumstances. For this reason, I was determined that when I felt better, I was going to start weekly visits with my friend whom I had neglected prior to my own illness. I remember having the need to visit her, however, I am embarrassed to admit that time was filled with so many other things to do that I never made the time. I was just too busy, plain and simple. Isn’t that so like our society today? We spend so much time doing so many great things that have such little value. Yet the things that mean so much, we brush aside thinking they are not of great significance.
I challenge you reader to consider your own life and ask yourself this question, “What have I done today that was not for my own gratification?” If you ask yourself that question and find that you cannot come up with one thing, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a try. If you are only doing for others so that you will benefit, you have not challenged yourself enough. Try taking time out of your day to do something for someone that will not have anything to do with benefiting yourself. Let me explain. If you partake on a mercy mission for someone else, make sure you are not thinking that it’s for your own benefit or self glorification that you are doing it. True acts of kindness, love and humility do not come from knowledge, they come from the heart. Outpouring unconditionally!
Last year there were several wonderful friends who took time out of their days to sit with me or write to me. The fact that they thought of me and prayed for me was enough, but these women actually took the time out of their busy lives to let me know. Unconditionally! From guilt free quilting to those friday pizza nights where I would otherwise have sat here alone. From e-cards of inspiration to the hand written notes mailed through the post, I was blessed by the giving of their time. I can only hope that they too felt blessed by the love they shared with this lonely Christian in her time of need for fellowship.
My friend and I sat together yesterday and began reading a book. Although my friend can no longer read and I am actually doing the reading, our discussions during and afterward were wonderful. We began the first week with the first two chapters of the book and studying Psalm 13.
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep and the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13
We both discussed how blessed we are knowing that we had the fellowship with one another, and the fellowship of the Lord Jesus Christ. David, in writing this psalm, felt alone and abandoned by God, yet he trusted in His love. He knew God was there or he would not have called out to him to begin with, but he cried out for the reassurance. He just longed for the fellowship and comfort of the Lord to help with the loneliness that was overtaking his physical being. Is this any different than how we feel when we are going through trials? As Christians we know God is ever present and we can trust in His love, yet we long for that physical fellowship. It’s in our human nature to have that need, and yet, so many are left in their lonely state.
In both of my studies this week, the same question came up, “Why is it so important to establish a right view of God before adversity hits?” (CBS JOB commentary) Both my friend and I agree that in our circumstances we could not get through all that humanity and disease throws at us if we did not have trust in the Lord and trust in salvation. In saying that, it does not mean we will not have tears and that we will not be discouraged at our current situation. Just as David was discouraged, he still trusted in “steadfast love” which in turn allowed him to “rejoice in salvation”. Rejoice…
Rejoicing in the everlasting love of a creator who has chosen us to be a part of his kingdom. Rejoicing in his blessings of family and fellowship with other like minded brothers and sisters who will share in an eternal life. Rejoicing in the blessing of vision to see that our sorrows are short lived in this world. Rejoicing that Jesus Christ took upon himself the sins of mankind to save. Rejoicing in the Hope and Faith of healing and God’s everlasting care in our lives on this earth. Rejoicing in knowing Him!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17