Monday, January 24, 2011
"I'm a servant to the One Most High," I decide to say every day before work.
This morning, I was feeling ungrateful, sick (flu), grumpy, crusty, and weepy.
I drove to work and muddled through my day with my clients (disabled people).
I drove home and listened to my favorite radio show, "Live the Promise," specifically, this podcast: Motives for Serving Christ, January 24th.
Before I get into the show, let me share details of an email I received this morning from my oldest friend. Sue and I have known each other since the third grade and have, gratefully, kept in touch. She is a devoted Christian, along with her husband. They do amazing work together. I am so proud to know them and excited to have "faith talks" with Sue. In this email, she shared with me encouragement that she had received from a blog entry of mine. Well, well, I was quite honored. She added that she had been having difficulty accepting her own physical disability and that it was getting worse.
Oh, my heart broke for her. I asked God, "why does someone so Christ-centered and devoted to You have to suffer so much? It doesn't seem fair.
I thought about other friends. My new friend, Tammy, who has lost two children to illnesses. She is the epitome of faithfulness, a servant of the Lord.
I could name other women - a becoming-famous writer, Ann Voskamp, who has the amazing book, "A Thousand Gifts" out right now, how she lost her sister at a young age - and more recently - this experience on her blog page. Such horror - and then such a miracle.
Why? Why do devoted women and men suffer so much?
As I drove home, listening to Susie Larson interviewing author and evangelist, Mark Brown, they spoke briefly about Christians and suffering. I believe this is an age-old question, since Christians have been persecuted from Day One and are still being persecuted today. The apostle, Paul, was persecuted physically, mentally, emotionally, yet he sent His Word on ahead of him.
...strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
We must go through many hardships. Yes, indeed. Jesus told us that. Scripture tells us that. And I thought being a Christian was about peace, love, compassion, being happy, following Jesus...and yes, it is about that - but so much more. There is a balance that needs to be made. We live in a physical body which longs for the eternal - for Heaven. Jesus promises He will be with us while we are on this earth, even as we go through these hardships.
Can hardships unite us? You bet they do. Just look at the support groups listed in our local paper. People gather in droves seeking healing and companionship. And that is a good thing, in my opinion.
But we need to really know that Jesus is with us. He is His own support group. Support group of One. When it comes right down to it, we need no one else. It is good to have others to lean on, but you cannot lean on anyone in the same way you can lean on Jesus Christ.
I think back to the beginning of my day. I was sick. Tired. Sad. Grumpy. I think about Sue needing help to get out of bed. I think of Tammy looking at old pictures. I think of Ann Voskamp living through a life of strife to get to this point: this book that will be on the bestseller list and help so many people.
Maybe that is why I am so attracted to bearing my soul on these blogs (http://memoryspeaksintongues.blogspot.com and http://stepmotherssecret.wordpress.com and this one). Some think I'm crazy for keeping so many blogs, that I am so "out there" on the internet.
It's who I am. I need to share my story. Whether it's how I came to Christ through a horrible act of sin or if it's about the loss of my mother and my healing journey afterward (which will be detailed in the poetry book, "The Sum of Our Burning" in 2012)... I need to share. I want to help people. I want to be a balm. I want to be a salve. I want to be an answered prayer. I want to be a blog entry that encourages someone. I want to be a piece of rock someone grips - and survives a fall.
I am a servant to the Most High God. Are you?