Archive for the ‘illness’ Tag

REFLECTION

I had wanted to do so much more with my life.  A career in music was high on my list.  However, music requires stamina, which I am not blessed with.

I marvel at the new medical equipment used to diagnose and to treat those with failing health.  I had wanted to study to become a biomedical engineer in my 20’s.  That dream dropped out of the sky like a meteorite glowing in flames, landing on my lap, a charred cinder.  

Sociology and psychology warmed my heart instead.  This knowledge aided me in working with sick and disabled persons of all ages.

Still, I felt there was something missing in my life.  

I grew up in a Christian home, where God was perceived as our holy and mighty Creator, worthy of worship on Sundays.

But I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, our Redeemer.  Many years later, God led me to a Bible based church.  Through Bible study, fellowship, and a deeper worship experience, I became aware of Jesus’ strong desire to have a personal relationship with me.  So I reciprocated.  Walking with Him has been a rich experience.

When we are ill or suffering, many times we wonder why God has allowed this pain and burden to enter our lives.  We start complaining, dispairing, or blaming someone or something for our malady.  But we don’t honor Jesus’ request to draw near to Him.  He wants to be your best friend in good times and in times of trial.

The next time you feel your life couldn’t be any better, don’t forget to thank God, letting your faith deepen.  You will start talking to Him often during the day.

When seemingly insurmountable trials invade your life, you will discover Jesus is walking beside you, holding your hand.  You will experience His reservoir of living water, deep and unending.

Allow Jesus to heal your scarred emotions.  For He needs you to reach out to individuals who have become distressed on the road of life.  Individuals who don’t know Him.  As Jesus told His disciples,  “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8) NKJV.  

Looking back, Jesus has been preparing me to accept a mission to continue working with Him, giving people a relief from the pain caused by sin and hope for an eternity spent with Him. 

 

LOOK TO JESUS

Why is there so little compassion shown today in a United States so full of hurting people? Is it because we all have our own agendas? Let’s explore that notion.

Most people today care primarily about themselves. We all have our own little hurts to nurse, perceiving them as larger, more painful, and less manageable than someone else’s burdens. Therefore, most people don’t express genuine compassion for someone who’s having difficulty, unless it involves a response to a local or national tragedy. They don’t act to help when confronted with another’s pain. Not even a kind word do they utter. Exceptions, of course, include people involved in service organizations and true Christians.

Understanded, people may not comprehend another’s plight. For example, who of us understands the difficulties of someone suffering from a mental illness? Professionals who treat them understand to a greater degree. Family members are baffled by symptoms, reacting with surprise or anger to the person’s inappropriate words and bizarre actions.

However, family members often feel the pain of the afflicted one, wishing they could take the pain away. The best they can do is get their loved one to a psychiatrist who can begin the difficult search for an effective drug therapy. A social worker can assist by sifting through issues to affect successful coping mechanisms for the patient and bring healing to the family.

But what about society as a whole? We’ve been derailed by the media who has further stigmatized mental illness. The media has led us to believe that any severely violent act is the work of someone with a typical mental illness and that mentally ill people are dangerous unless properly medicated.

Reliable studies and statistics have shown that a much smaller percentage of the mentally ill have violent tendencies than people without the illness. These nonviolent people languished away in mental hospitals years ago when effective treatments did not exist. Now that most people with mental illness live within our communities, they are either treated with indifference, shunned, degraded, or feared. Few people treat them with respect.

How can we develop compassion? I think most of us need an adjustment only God can offer, for only God can change a heart. We need to learn to value each person equally as God does. And we need to consider other’s needs to be as important as our own needs. Only then can genuine compassion exist. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34) and “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Mat 19:19).

The next time you see someone struggling with any type of illness, offer a kind word with an air of friendliness. Step out of your comfort zone. Show interest in what they do or introduce them to a new hobby that may help them heal. We all need a friend. Jesus was this friend and healer to the downtrodden He encountered during His earthly ministry. Follow Jesus’ example.

None of us should live with only our own agenda in mind. God will reward you for your acts of compassion. You will be richly blessed.

—Scripture Quotations from NKJV—

GIVING THANKS IN ILLNESS

On Thanksgiving Day we are grateful for all we have been blessed with. Those of us who are Christians give thanks to the Triune God. We believe God is the source of all blessings.

Many give thanks for their good health. We have all been sick at times, but God is the Great Physician who heals. He has created our bodies with the ability to fight off many illnesses. God has given doctors and other health professionals abilities to diagnose and treat illness. He guides the physician’s mind and the surgeon’s hands. God enables nurses to act as the doctor’s right hand, giving care to heal. Other health professionals work in concert with doctors and nurses, attempting to produce the best outcome. And God Himself can heal those cases resistant to cure, if it be His will.

But how about the sick who’ve been treated and are about to go down to their graves without a medical or miraculous healing. Do they have anything to be grateful for other than the blessings God bestowed on them before they became ill? We must consult the Holy Bible for the answer.

There is a treasure trove of blessings promised to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, whose works demonstrate their faith, and who have a personal relationship with God. He promises to never abandon us. “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). He is by your side to comfort you in illness if you reach out to Him. If you’re faithful to God, in death your assurance is sealed. You go down to the grave, knowing Christ will come again to usher you into His everlasing kingdom. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16,17).

As for the dying who don’t know the Lord, it is never too late. Jesus pardoned the dying thief who acknowledged Him as Lord while on the cross, and on that day, Jesus promised the thief he would see Jesus in heaven.

It is our Christian duty to bring these dying souls to Christ when we visit them. Let your conversation flow from the heart, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

On Thanksgiving Day, as on other days, Christians have faith: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Perhaps our faith in God is what we can be most thankful for.

—All Scripture Quotations taken from KJV—

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