Can we, who live with pain, be encouraging to those who are healthy and suffering in other ways? Dorothea explains.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”(Acts 4:13)
If you’ve lived with chronic illness and pain for any amount of time, you realize that continuing on this journey takes perseverance. Sometimes you may be viewed as weak and ineffective because of your limits. However, if you take the time to examine your life, I believe you will uncover your courage and strength.
Of course, you don’t take credit for any of it because you know that it is God who grants you the ability to get through another day.
I had a friend tell me once that she thought of me as a woman with fierce faith. I had a hard time receiving that compliment because I never see myself in that way.
As we talked a little bit longer, she reminisced about the various times she had been around me while I was in the midst of suffering. A particular episode stayed with her.
“I remember you not being able to walk because the pain in your feet was so terrible,” she said. “I left your house that day in awe of God’s hand on you. You didn’t wallow in self-pity. Just told me you were struggling, and resting in the fact that God would see you through that latest battle.”
My friend has perfect physical health, but struggles in other areas. She said that when she faces difficulties, she thinks about my ordeals and finds encouragement to keep going. “I know it’s grace of God,” she said right before we ended the call. “I couldn’t have said it better.” I agreed with her.
I had forgotten all about that day. Conversations like this show me that although our conditions may define us, they also provide opportunities for others to see Christ at work in our lives.
No matter what you are going through, I pray that you will allow God to use your life for His glory. Others look at you and see the hand of Christ reflected in your courage to live for Him regardless of your physical limits.
Prayer: Father, we need Your strength to continue on this path before us. Let our lives be grounded in Your love for us. May Your grace upon us be obvious to everyone we encounter. Amen.
About the Author:
Dorothea Love lives in California with her family. She has lived with various chronic illnesses and pain for over 30 years. She relies on God’s grace to strengthen and encourage her each day. She loves to hear from her readers. Please visit her in the Sunroom at: www.restministriessunroom.ning.com/profile/DorotheaLove or read some of her other works at: www.dorothealove.wordpress.com.
When was the last time you let someone know that you could see God working in their lives and were blessed by them? Would you do it today?
Life is hard. I am sure you have noticed! And yet, if we can share what God is teaching us through it all, and be able to encourage someone else who is suffering, it just all makes sense why God made us to be encouraging to others. This song, “Everything Falls” by Fee is a beautiful song that reminds us that we all fall. We all fail. None of us handle it all perfectly. And that is why it is okay to fall apart–because we have God to hold us together. Don’t be afraid to share this message with others who may not have Jesus in their heart yet and they are just wondering what they will do when it all falls apart. -Lisa