Are You Gazing Back, Above, or Within?

gazingHow can we apply the ascension of Jesus to living with chronic illness? Vicki sakes what we are gazing at.

“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you. He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:11, 32).

What’s related to loss and absence? Resistance.

Who finds it easy to part with a loved one?

Our youngest son’s first day in college marked the end of full-time parenting. Rob had turned eighteen and was on his own. Never again would I have daily interactions with him.

During our final embrace, I couldn’t utter words of wisdom. “Good bye, Rob,” was all I could whisper as I choked back tears. How I wanted to cling to the past!

My former second graders resisted the end of a school year. They pleaded, “Please, Mrs. Chandler. Can’t you be our teacher in third grade?” How they wanted things to remain the same.

When Jesus announced His departure, Peter asked the same question: “Lord, why can’t I follow You now? (John 13:37).

How Peter wanted to hold onto what he loved!

Christ’s apostles faced loss and absence. After Christ arose from death, He ascended. His followers strained to focus on Him. As if trying to hold onto Him with their gaze. How they struggled to accept the loss!

I’ve been there. “Gazing” at what has departed from my life due to illness. How I’ve struggled to accept the loss. God doesn’t want me longing for a previous Vicki any more than He wanted the apostles stuck in the past.

Two angels reproved those grief-frozen men saying, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

They had their instructions: go to Jerusalem and receive the Holy Spirit. Then go and share the gospel.

Similarly God doesn’t want our thoughts to linger on departed abilities. We have the Comforter to help us live and share our testimony. A testimony of hope.

Prayer: Dear Father, How I love Christ’s Passover message of hope, which included the promise of the Holy Spirit. On difficult days, remind me that the Spirit’s death-defeating power lives in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 33 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her blog, she reaches out to other mothers of children with mental illness. http://mentalillnessmom2mom.net/
Vicki wrote a picture book about bullying: Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies. You can find out more about that book by visiting her Heart Eyes website: http://www.hearteyes.net

What do you love most about the Holy Spirit? That He intercedes for you, helps you, comforts you, or empowers you? Or that He gives you joy, gifts, or discernment?

This is the group Hillsong singing the song “With Us.” Regardless of our mood, our abilities, our attitude, our struggles Jesus is always with us. We know this to be true, but it is so easy to forget when life seems to not work out as we had planned. It’s so simple to look back at life before illness and yearn for a different time. But if we do we will miss the glorious comfort of Jesus who is here to help us fact what we are going through today. Hugs to you, -Lisa