“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:2,3).
On the radio a man was commenting on the vanity of TV commercials and how his aged, ailing mother had no need for the things advertised. He went on to muse that our lives should be a commercial for heaven.
The average Christian can really get some spiritual exercise by taking up that challenge. My own thoughts went on to what an advantage we have as Christians living with chronic pain and illness.
When conversations are drawn to our medical challenges, we often feel a pull in one of two directions. We can moan, groan, and elicit pity from our friend as we let the topic swerve to the negative, or we can steer it upward.
The idea of being a commercial for heaven really appeals to me and inspires me to take the latter path.
Can I discuss the frustrations of my malfunctioning body in such a way that draws others to long for new and perfected bodies? How do I conduct myself with irksome people who seem to love sending us through red tape and hoop jumping obstacles? Does my response to distressing news and disappointing results invite others to wonder where my peace comes from?
I would just love to be a person who lures people to think about heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ. I am now thinking my illness journey is the perfect platform to do that.
What a great topic to bring other people’s attention to the throne of Grace. So places everybody, ready, action!
Prayer: Father God, I want to be a billboard that displays Your glory. Help me overcome my selfish tendencies to consider this thorn as an obstacle. I want to advertise it as a vehicle to the higher ground of heaven. In the name of Your Precious Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
About the author:
Elizabeth Vendley lives in beautiful Lancaster, PA. She has lived with severe IC since 1996 and has accumulated the usual list of complications and varied conditions. Her most recent victory has been holding a job as a direct care provider for disabled people. Her chronic pain journey experiences enhance her skill in caring for others. She would love to hear from you in the Sunroom.
What phrases and terms can you change in your vocabulary that might give a more positive slant to others about your challenges. When are times when it is okay, even therapeutic and safe to discuss the valleys?
How can you shift the direction of a discussion in a tactful God honoring way?
This is a beautiful song, “Be Like Jesus” with John Gowans, John Larson, Marty Mikles. May it bless you. Take a few minutes to just imagine how much your life would change (will change) if and when you change even the small things in your life to be more like Jesus. -Lisa