“For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, angels as well as to human beings” (1 Corinthians 4:9 ).
Have you ever felt that because of your illness, you are on display for all to see you? Perhaps you have difficulty walking, so you need to use a cane, walker or wheelchair. Or maybe you have other issues that cause rashes, or other changes in your physical appearance, that may cause others to look at you more closely than another.
Paul’s verse above reminds us that we are in good company, because even if you didn’t have any physical disabilities, God allows us to be on “display” for Him. Paul tell us in verse 12, “When we are cursed, to bless, when slandered, answer kindly, When we feel and are treated as” scum” or “garbage” remember that our way of life should be in agreement with that of Jesus Christ.
Paul also instructs us that “This then is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed” (4:1). Wow!
It is hard to believe that God deems us worthy of such an honor. So how do these truths help us to encompass the difficulties of being on display from our illness? Perhaps we can decide to respond with the attitude that because of illness. We are given double the opportunity to be on display!
First being apostles, like Paul; second, the opportunity to show Christ through our illnesses. How amazing that God sees this extra potential in us.
I pray my dear friends that the next time you feel those eyes upon you as you make your way through the grocery store–or anywhere–that make you feel on “display,” look to Paul’s words of encouragement. Take to heart the knowledge that the mysteries God reveals to you, within you, and through you, will be used to further His Kingdom!
Prayer: Father, thank You for the honor You bestow on us in allowing us to be seen and on “display” for You. Help us to recognize in those difficult instances, that You are right there with us, waking beside us, unashamed to be our Father. Amen.
About the author:
Diane Kalata lives in Florida. She has three grown children, and a wonderful husband who offers much support. She enjoys leading a women’s bible study group as well as an online chronic pain and illness support group. She enjoys art and writing as well. It is her hope to bring encouragement to others as she deals with various chronic illnesses and pain; comforting others as God has comforted her.
Have you had a time when you felt on “display” due to your illness? How has God helped you in those situations to be a reflection and image of Him.
There are times when your doctor may call in other doctors to consult and we really feel like we are on display. Thankfully, with God within us, whenever we feel this way we can focus on how Jesus wants to use these moments. We are not an object, but a vessel the Holy Spirit uses. I hope this song “Do They See Jesus in Me?” with Joy Williams blesses you as it has me.