Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 20, 2012
“For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2:27).
Friends and family who suffer from chronic illnesses are candidates for God’s grace, and our love and attention. It is extremely difficult to see a loved one languish through cancer, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Once they smiled with joy, now they ache in pain. Once their body was hefty and healthy, now they are hollow and disfigured. The person we once knew now seems nonexistent.
They may be physically alive, but emotionally and mentally detached. However, it is in their weak condition that you honor them by providing strength. Even if they lived a self-serving life, continue to serve them as a testimony to your siblings, spouse and children, and in obedience to Christ’s command. Service to the sick is an opportunity to be like Jesus, so by God’s grace represent Him well.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36
God may not heal them in this life, but He does provide mercy and grace for comfort and endurance. I do not like the smell of the sick, it makes me nauseous and nervous, but serving the sick is not about my hang-ups. It is about heaven’s help, salvation’s cure and prayer’s path to peace. Inconvenient illness is an opportunity for us to illustrate other centered living.
Be very patient with your spouse who is unable to care for you as well because they are in a season of extreme service to their parent. You can help by seeking out experts in law and finance to assist your dying loved one and help them steward well their departure. Sickness is the Lord’s pause to ponder what’s really important in life. So enjoy any time of interruption to love your loved ones and friends who are sick unto death.
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” (John 11:33-36)
Who is at the point of death that I can support with a card, call, visit or prayer?
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