3.19.2012

Perspective

This week I have had a lot of time to reflect on all God is teaching me through this season. One of the biggest things I've learned is the topic of perspective. Any given situation can be changed by the way you look at it. Take my back for example, I worried for so long that I would have to have surgery and that I would be out of work for longer than I would like. The truth though is that I am blessed to have health insurance. I am thankful that what I have is curable. I am fortunate that I have family and friends that will take care of me once I'm out of surgery.

This morning was a perfect example of the things God has shown me through this process.

I stood outside in pain at the front of the church doors greeting our members. I watched a man drive up and park in a handicap spot. As I watched him, I noticed that he opened the door and proceeded to take out a wheelchair from his passenger seat. The wheelchair did not have the wheels attached. He then takes out the two wheels and assembles his chair all while sitting in the car.

Once he had assembled his wheelchair, he pulls himself out of the car and into the chair all by himself. I noticed that he only had one leg. I kept watching as he grabbed a bag out of his car and placed it in his mouth so he wouldn't drop it. He wheeled himself to the ramp and over my way where I greeted him with  a smile and a "Good morning!" to which he replied with a great big smile "Good morning! How are you!?" I replied, "Doing well, thank you!".

Here's what gets me about this simple encounter, he had joy in smile when he said hello to me. He didn't greet me with bitterness or anger in his voice. Of course I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but I do know that that man didn't let his circumstance determine his attitude. Which of course got me thinking about how easily I can be put in a hostile mood when I don't feel well.

I think about the man in the chair and I think to myself "I have nothing to complain about".

Perspective sets in when you realize life is so much bigger than you. That there are people all around me that are worse off. Everyone hurts at some point, but not all people let hurt rob them of their joy. Not all people let their circumstance dictate their attitudes.

It may seem small, but those minutes of watching him handle himself with such grace really put me in my place.

Every little thing will be alright, one way or another.

3.14.2012

Seeing Faith

2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”


6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

The past 5 months have been one of the darkest seasons I've ever been through. As most of you may know I have been battling chronic back pain due to a fall I took just days before my 27th birthday. Since then I've been through x-rays, steroids, MRI's, cortisone shots, back specialists, second opinions, epidural injections, the list goes on. In this fifth month I have found myself with two options left. Either God heals me completely, or option B I have surgery. I have no problem with either of those options. Here's why, I've realized that if I have surgery and I am healed it doesn't take away from the fact that God healed me.

Why do I bring up this story? I bring it up because it shows a group of men with great faith. Faith that I desire to have and faith that I continue to grow in. These men brought their paralytic friend to Jesus because they knew that if they could just get to Him their friend would be healed and walking again. When they saw that He was surrounded by so many they physically pulled the roof off where He was and lowered the man on his mat into the room. It says in Mark 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus SAW their FAITH and healed the man to walk again.

Seems simple enough, right? Just have faith and God will move? Why not? For the past few months I came to a place where I just expected God to do it just because. But what was I doing in order to come to a place where He would SEE my faith and heal me. What words was I speaking out? Negative, positive, indifferent? How much time was I spending with Him? Was I reading and meditating on His word? Or was I spending too much time feeling sorry for myself?

Don't get me wrong, I know people with big faith who still don't see what they want to see. But just because you didn't see the results you wanted does not mean that God hasn't moved. Me not being completely healed doesn't mean that God hasn't been working on my heart, and healing from the inside. I would almost argue that God has moved more in me through this suffering than in the times of brighter seasons. But why? It's not because He doesn't want to move, it's because like human nature we cling more to Him when the waters get rocky.

I love this story because it proves that faith can make miraculous things happen. But I also want to make very clear that God is in control and He decides the when, where, and how. Your job is to have the faith that He is ABLE. And to remember that if it doesn't turn out the way you wanted it to, it doesn't mean you are wrong for having big faith in our big God. I would caution you to not let bitterness creep into your heart. He loves you and long before you suffered, He suffered for you.