Matthew 25:35-45 (ESV)
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
1 John 4:11 (NIV)
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Acts 9:36 (ESV)
36 Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas.[a] She was full of good works and acts of charity.
Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)
10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
April 14, 2017
This past weekend I attended a conference out of state, that was work related. A lot of contemplation went into my decision as to whether or not I should attend the conference, due to some severe injuries I incurred during a fall that I had two days before Christmas.
This happened when my daughter and I were out doing some last minute shopping, for our annual Christmas trip to my mom and dad’s. I stepped off of a curb to cross a street and one of my legs totally gave out. I am thankful to God a car was not coming at that very moment. I had never experienced anything like this before. I was in severe pain, and I was in shock. Needless to say we had to cancel our much anticipated trip because of my injuries.
My sweet husband and my precious daughter literally had to wait on me hand and foot. For the first two to three days, walking was next to impossible for me. We knew that traveling in this condition would be difficult for me, so we settled in and decided to just be content with watching movies and hanging out at home for the holidays. This actually turned out to be OK, because I certainly was in no position to travel. Talking about plans being thwarted, I found out really quick that I was not in control of anything.
I had injuries to both of my legs, a jammed shoulder, a bruised hand and a second degree sprang in a ligament in one of my legs. The other leg still has numbness from the bottom of my calf to the ankle, and I have been in physical therapy for the last eight weeks, only to find out two days ago that my doctor wants me to go for another six weeks.
After two X-Rays and two MRI’s, I have been told that I have severe nerve impingement in my lower back, so severe that it’s not allowing my nerves to fire to, or send information to my leg muscles. The lack of my nerves firing to my muscles has caused me to have muscle weakness, and this is what caused me to have two falls, two days apart.
As I stated earlier, I was scheduled to attend a conference. Two weeks before I left for that conference I received an epidural. My hopes were that, this would help me with being able to stand longer and to walk further with out the risk of falling. Although the epidural helped, my doctor sweetly reminded me, that because my injuries were so severe, complete healing would be a process. She also said that it will be necessary for me to give the epidural time to do its job. Those of you that know me personally, know that patience is not my best virtue.
Because things had not worked out as quickly as I had hoped with the epidural, I knew that I would need some type of walking aide while at the conference.
Although I have had to endure the X-RAYS, MRIs, and lots of doctor’s visits, not to mention physical therapy sessions, and just the inconvenience of suffering with an injury, I have really seen God work through the hearts of those that I know, as well as the hearts of perfect strangers. Today I would like to share with you how I have seen God show up for me during my illness.
As the word got out that I had suffered an injury, incredibly kind things started to happen. One sweet retired couple from Church, offered to drive me to my doctor’s appointment which was about 40 minutes away, so that my husband would not have to take off from work to do so. Afterwards they insisted on treating me to a nice lunch before returning home. This same couple also prepared dinner for our family one night. There were other friends that also prepared wonderful meals and brought them by.
Another sweet friend drove me around town to make deliveries for my business one day. Since I could not walk in and out of places without complications, or the threat of another fall, she got out at each stop and went in to make the deliveries to my customers for me. Afterwards she was kind enough to drive me to my doctor’s appointment.
After a couple of weeks or so, when I started driving again, my customers that I had told about my injuries quickly said, ” when you get to my house just call or blow your horn and I will come out to your car and get my package.” Because they knew I was still having difficulties going up and down steps, they did not want me to risk falling. I could not have asked for people to be more caring and thoughtful.
It is truly amazing how God goes before us and has things totally in place long before events happen in our lives. One day while I was visiting with one of my customers, she started to inquire about my injuries and said “I have a cane in my attic that was my mom’s, and I would be happy to get it down for you, if you would like to use it.” Well of course my answer was yes! A day or two later she sent me a text message saying that she had found the cane, and I could come by and pick it up when I was out again.
One Sunday afternoon a lady from our Church called and said that she had prepared dinner for us. She also said that she had a walker that had been her mom’s, that she wanted to give me. God was literally providing everything that I needed.
On another day while coaching one of my Team Members, I was sharing with her about the upcoming conference and she said “Oh by the way I still have a wheelchair that was my mom’s that I will be happy to let you borrow for the conference.” The amazing thing is that, these things were offered to me, I did not ask for them. God had covered all bases for me long before my injury. I have also been blessed with emails, text messages, phone calls and get well cards.
Before my injuries I was attending a weekly Bible Study. The leader of our group has been so sweet to continue to contact me each week for my prayer request. She has shared them with the group and they have continued to pray for me even though I had to stop physically attending for a while. Another sweet friend who also attends this same Bible Study, has made it a point to bring me a new lesson each week so that I would not fall behind in my study. I have been so blessed with such a wonderful community of kind and loving friends.
What has astounded me more than anything though, is how wonderful complete strangers have been to me. While attending the conference, the only place my husband could unload the wheelchair before parking was where the shuttle buses would pull in to load and unload their passengers. Each time we had to inconvenience the flow of their system, so that my husband could take out the wheelchair for me. It seemed every day there would be a kind stranger that would see what was going on and rush out to assist us.
While at the conference my husband would always wheel me out about five to ten minutes before the end of each session, so that we would not have to worry about navigating through the crowds. One evening after leaving a session a few minutes early, he had to leave me alone in my wheel chair on the sidewalk. He had to walk quite a distance to get to our car. A lady who was a complete stranger walked out of the Convention Center after I had been sitting there for a while and said ” I will be happy to stay here with you until your husband pulls up”. She probably was concerned since it was dark and I was sitting there alone. We had a wonderful conversation in just a few minutes of time. This was another stranger offering me a cup of kindness.
The next day another lady that we did not know offered to wheel me into the Convention Center so that my husband could park the car.
One day while waiting in line to purchase tickets, a lady that I had never seen before walked over to me and looked me straight in my eye and asked ” What happened to you?” As I shared briefly, she looked at me and said ” I would like to pray for you” After she prayed for me she shared that she had just lost her young son to cancer. My heart broke as I listened to her, I looked at her and said ” Now, may I pray for you?” She said yes, and I prayed for her. There were people all around us, and there for a few brief moments it didn’t matter. God had brought us to that place for our paths to cross and our hearts to connect through our prayers. We were two sisters in Christ, petitioning His throne of grace. It was an amazing experience because we both knew that although we were complete strangers, our belief in God’s power to work mightily through prayer is what united us. I was hurting physically and she was hurting emotionally, and through our prayers God has the power to take care of both of our needs.
On the last day of the conference a big storm was headed our way. The winds were high and everyone was running to catch their buses or to get back to their cars. My husband had left the conference to go back to the hotel to get our luggage and check out. He was running a bit late getting back, which put him behind a long line of shuttle buses. A very observant bus driver saw me sitting alone in my wheelchair on the sidewalk. She got off her bus and asked if I was trying to catch the shuttle bus. About that same time, I could see our car in plain view. I told her that I was waiting for my husband to pull up, and that I saw him in the line. When she saw the car that I described to her, she stopped the bus driver that was directly behind her and asked him to leave an opening for our car to squeeze in. She also stopped traffic to motion for my husband to come around. As she wheeled me off a curb to the car, she kept saying ” I got you baby, don’t worry I got you. I am going to get you into your car safely so don’t worry, I got you! “. Although her bus was filling up with passengers, she insisted on helping me get into my car while my husband loaded the wheelchair. I told her that I could get into the car on my own with no problem, and that I was OK to walk or stand for a bit, but she insisted on helping me. When my husband and I told her thank you. With the largest smile on her face she said “its no problem, I love helping people and I believe that’s why I’m here, because God wants me to help others. How refreshing it was to see someone serve so joyfully. It was almost overwhelming; it was as though I was experiencing God’s love coming from every direction.
I am convinced that God has allowed my injuries for a reason, and from this
I have received so much clarity. One thing I know for sure, and that is, God wanted me to know and experience His love and provision on an even deeper level. He also wanted me to see what the hearts of those who really love Him and His people look like, and for me to recognize what His favor looks like.
Everyone that He sent to me, served with such joy, passion and love. Through this experience He has shown me how I am to serve and love others. What a blessing I have received from my unfortunate circumstance.
Take a few minutes and ask yourself, when is the last time I passionately served someone for Christ, not half heartedly, or because you were expected to, but because you genuinely love God and humanity and you love reflecting God’s light to others. Have you ever gone out of your way to serve a perfect stranger? Just know that many times, God calls us out of our comfort zones to serve His people.
Make it a point to bless someone today who is ill or struggling physically. It will mean more to them than you will ever know.
Have a blessed day serving joyfully!
Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms