“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him” (Matthew 4:19-22).
When was the last time Jesus called you to do something and you did it immediately? Or . . . when did you last do anything immediately?
Living with illness can be compared to running a marathon, not a sprint. It is all about pacing ourselves. I pace long-term plans, trying my best to not sabotage an event I must attend in the future (like my sister’s wedding). But I also pace myself every single day–as you likely do.
I struggle to decide if I am becoming more of a procrastinator or if I am just pacing myself so I have the energy to do what is most important for the Lord and my family.
As I write this I have a list of five different companies to call regarding billing issues–including a pharmacy and my medical insurance. I am dreading the energy I must dedicate to each of these conversations.
And yet, every day, if I listen closely and avoid procrastination, the Holy Spirit can point me toward that what I should do.
It is easy for us to say, “Well, if Jesus showed up today and said ‘follow Me’ I would go! What does a doctor’s appointment or a phone call have to do with following Jesus?”
I have found that the most important divine appointments are orchestrated because I did something I didn’t feel like doing.
I have made countless connections with receptionists and telemarketers over the years. Just yesterday I ran I to an acquaintance at Dollar Tree–an errand I forced myself to run to grab some school supplies. I didn’t know she had a son who was hurting, or as a mom she was tired. Without even questioning I asked her if she and her husband would want to join our local small group for Bible study and support.
We never know where God will lead us and who He has prepared for us to reach out to. Next time you look at your to-do list, consider this: Are you taking a risk and immediately leaving your boat and your nets–that which you depend on–and following Jesus where He leads you?
Prayer: Father, I know You want me to learn to manage my illness effectively, but it is so easy to slip into caring for myself–rather than following Your promptings and then letting You take care of me. I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to bless someone because I was so rigorously pacing myself and caring for my own needs. Give me discernment and help me trust Your voice. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is excited that she has finished her prayer book for those who are chronically ill and it will be available in just weeks. Be encouraged by one of her books today! 100% proceeds go to Rest Ministries. Check out Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
When was the last time you did something even though it didn’t make much sense and you felt God blessed your efforts? Do you believe one can get caught up in pacing themselves too much and miss out on God’s last minute appointments?
It can be hard to go when God calls us to go. It doesn’t involve logic or reason–just trust–fully trust! This is Jeremy Camp singing, “I am Willing.” Are you willing–even when you don’t understand or cannot predict how it will all turn out? -Lisa