“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)
The winter days were long; it seemed as cold inside as out. I felt locked inside a body that would give me no relief. Pain. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I wanted to die. My world revolved around my own disability, my personal discomfort; my life had drastically changed.
Just weeks before, I was able to cope—mother of six, women’s ministry president, band booster’s president, adult Sunday School teacher, executive secretary. But suddenly my world came to a sudden halt. I was locked inside a body that failed me miserably.
Weeks passed and turned to months. The calls stopped. No more visits from friends. The mailbox was empty. Once vibrantly connected to church and community, I was now forgotten … my heart was broken.
One day the phone rang; it was my best friend. Oh, how her voice blessed me! But her words were hard to swallow: “Jan, you have turned inward and your world has become all about you.” Then, she quoted Philippians 2:3-4.
It was a light bulb moment.
After she prayed with me, she assured me of her love and hung up. I began to seek the Lord and He showed me how inward I had become. It was pain that drew my focus off my love affair with Him, my family, my church, and my friends. My world had become all about me and my pain. I needed to change what I had the power to change … ME!
It’s easy to get caught up in our disabilities, as if life itself revolves around our inabilities. But God challenges us to look outside our problems to focus on others’ needs. Even in our days of depression and pain, we can reach out to someone—reach out beyond ourselves, and impart God’s love and grace to them.
Prayer: Lord, help me to look beyond my own world of pain and disability to minister to the needs of others. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jan Ross lives in Willard, OH, with her husband, Ron; they have six adult children and twelve incredible grandchildren. Jan is an ordained minister and missionary with Heart of God International Ministries (www.heartofgodinternational.com). She enjoys teaching and writing Bible Studies and teaching piano. Jan continuously experiences God’s strength being made perfect in her weakness from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis and other chronic conditions. Feel free to contact Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org.