While they were worshipping the LORD and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,' Separate now for Me Barnabus and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'" Acts 13:2 NKJV
Have you been called, separated unto the Holy Spirit by your illness?
That certainly never occurred to me - until today, when the Holy Spirit touched these words and they stood up and waved.
I do feel like this illness has separated me, that's for sure! I never know when I will have enough energy or the ability to think straight enough to accomplish something or go somewhere. One by one friends stop calling because I have become so unreliable. It also prevents me from involving myself in physical tasks at my church, prevents me from serving in some capacities I would love to be involved with.
But our God neither makes mistakes nor wastes anything. CI, and what the world calls "infirmities" are occurrences that carry with them rich opportunities.
Look for a moment at those whose lives were "afflicted" but chose to seek God through them instead of choosing to concentrate on the suffering itself. The poet Annie Johnson Flint, who has blessed my life immensely, from the age of 21 was confined to a wheelchair in intense pain from arthritis - and wheelchairs in the 1800's, not to mention pain relief, were certainly antiquated and uncomfortable. Fanny Crosby was blind, Madame Guyon scarred and weakened by smallpox, Amy Carmichael hurt so badly in a serious fall that she was confined to bed in severe pain for the last 20 years of her life. Her attitude? "See in it a chance to die," she said. And did you know that Charles Spurgeon suffered enormously from headaches and black depressions? Yet each one of them concentrated instead on the One Who chose this path for them, Who "separated" them by it, and were more than conquerors!
Well, I am definitely no Spurgeon! But others are watching us, whether we realize it or not. If they can see a peace-filled loving Christian who worships where they cannot understand, who vigilantly refuses bitterness and self-pity, anger or despair, blessing their caregivers and giving thanks "in all things" they will remember us when their own dark moments come - and dark moments come to everyone.
That remembrance may have eternal significance.
If we will simply (!) give one day at a time to Him, purposing in our hearts to make this one day a day in which our hearts will abide in Him and seek His will in our lives for that one day we will have accomplished the purpose for which He has separated us: that His will may be foremost in our lives.
It is so easy to say, and so difficult to do, isn't it? Whenever I hear someone say the word "simply" I know a hard thing is coming! So, this is my prayer, just for today:
Papa, just for today I choose to allow You to separate me however You desire. I turn it all over to You, trusting Your choices for me. Through Your Holy Spirit I choose to live for You, just for today.
...and please, Papa, help me to live each day like this one. Amen.