Chains quickly weigh us down, but Diane asks us if those chains can serve a greater purpose than to just be our captor.
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ” (Philippians 1:12-14).
Have you ever felt that your chronic illness was similar to wearing the chains of imprisonment? That though others may not be able to literally see those heavy links bound around your body, as you proceed throughout your day, you can surely feel them? Each task during your day can take a greater percentage of the small amount of energy you had in the first place?
As I study Paul’s letter, I’m reminded and encouraged by his words. He speaks of how His chains have “served to advance the gospel” that all around him are aware. He says that those chains are “for Christ.”
I am humbled, yet also refreshed by this thought. I reflect on how many opportunities “the chains of illness” have given me to share my Jesus, my Savior, with others.
I hope that the virtual chains of my illness have, as in Paul’s life, served to “advance the Gospel.”
Yes, it is not an easy path for we who deal with invisible or visible chronic illness. It is often difficult when in pain to pay attention, to focus on what God is showing us. I’m saddened by those times that I didn’t pay attention. There are times when God has graciously given me a moment to share and I failed to do so–missing that opportunity to be a blessing and a chance to grow more in Him.
But then there are the times that I did “catch the Light” so to speak. I listened to the still, small voice and let others see that although the chains of illness are heavy, Jesus is always there. He lift the burden of those chains, granting me the strength to keep going.
With this, we, like Paul, can rejoice! ”The important thing is that in every way . . . Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (Philippians 12:18).
Prayer: Father, we humbly ask that each day we would remember that these chains of illness that burden us can be carried by You. You love us and desire to grant us strength throughout our day. You want to help us be living examples of the great love You have for all mankind. Thank You for the honor and privilege of being used to share the Gospel of Truth with all we meet. Amen.
About the author:
Diane Kalata, lives in Central Florida, she is blessed to have a wonderful husband, who is also her caregiver in illness, three grown children, and 3 grandchildren! She is a cancer survivor, but continues to deal with chronic digestive and neuropathic issues. She loves art and writing. Her desire is to continually be an encouragement to others; looking daily for those “God opportunities” to share His love and truth with others.
What chains are holding you right now? What chains are causing you to feel like you’re in prison? What would help you most each day to feel those burdens lightened? What can we here at Rest Ministries do to help lighten your chains? Have you had an opportunity to share the gospel because of your “chains of Illness”?
This is Plumb singing “Beautiful History” and I think you will appreciate the lyrics to this song. We will have moments when get angry with the chains, when we run from God, when we grow frustrated. But God isn’t going anywhere and He will gladly welcome us back to His arms when we are ready to return. And all of this is just part of our beautiful history with Him. His mercy makes it all so precious. Enjoy. -Lisa