In Sickness and in Health
When a bride and groom stand together at the alter and proclaim their vows to one another, I am not sure that they totally understand what they mean for the long term. Recently my husband of 19 years was diagnosed with Lymphoma and as scary as that is, one of the things that I was not prepared for was my own reaction to all of it.
I have been walking with the lord for a very long time and over the years he has been training me up to take my thoughts captive, so that I would not dwell on evil, but instead choose to fill my mind with the goodness of God so that I can think on things that will bring life to me instead.
With the news of the disease, I found myself thinking, that this was a result of him not walking close enough to the lord, and maybe this was God’s way of teaching him to become more dependent on him, I found myself entertaining the thought of finally my prayers have been answered. (I write this paragraph with his permission by the way)
I entertained these thoughts for a while and even had a friend voice what I was thinking, then a week or so later, I finally voiced what I had been thinking all along; that this was a result of him not walking as closely to God as he should have. (Yes I know, you are waiting for the, oh Brenda, God is not going to let you get away with that kind of thinking!)
You would be right, because even as I was thinking it and then eventually voicing my opinion the lord was working on my heart, bringing conviction that I was not in the right, or being fair to my husband. I would love to tell you that I immediately went to the lord and repented for my thoughts, and spoken word, but I would be lying, needless to say, it took a little while to realize that this train of thought was not only a lie, but destructive to our relationship and destructive to my relationship with God if I harbor sin in my life.
I realized the error of my ways a couple of days ago and asked the lord to forgive me, I also asked my husband for forgiveness as well. He forgave me and told me that he understood as my emotions were all over the place. It still did not make it right though.
I now needed to find out what the bible taught about this kind of thought process and what God had said to the people about it. The lord reminded me of the story of a man who was born blind, and when Jesus healed the man the people wanted to know who was at fault, was it the parents who had sinned or the man? The people knew that sin was a root cause of disease; therefore it was easy to point a finger. Just like I did!
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
There are many other instances throughout the gospels of Jesus healing the sick and for various reasons they were sick, but in each case when Jesus saw them he had compassion on them and with great love and mercy healed them. He did not stand on the side lines saying, “well now let see, you have done this and that and you did not do this, so that is why you are sick” No, he had mercy on them and healed them knowing that their hearts were sinful and that they would eventually turn on him and having him crucified.
That my friend is merciful and great compassion, by showing kindness to someone, knowing that someday they would reject you and have you hung on a cross.
Then the lord brought my mind back to that verse that I learnt as a child, do not judge! You do not know the whole story and what I am doing; you cannot make judgment on someone else’s life. Ouch!
In the book of Luke Jesus taught the people to be merciful to one another as God is merciful to us, he taught that we are to show love, compassion and grace to one another. We want the grace ourselves but find it hard to give it to another person.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
The bible is pretty clear about how I am to treat a fellow brother and sister in Christ, and my husband is my brother in Christ, so for me to stand in judgment against him, for what I perceive to be his sin is wrong.
I praise the Lord though that he showed me this, and of course it came about in a roundabout way that my heart was exposed to the light, but I am very grateful that it was. Like I have said in the previous articles, I do not want to walk in sin through this trial in my life; instead, I would like to walk in integrity and honesty becoming more and more like Christ, as he transforms me into his likeness.
Please understand, I did not write this article out of pride, but I believe that God has literally hounded me all week since I discovered the error of my ways to write it out for you. I believe that he has lessons to teach us all as we walk this path together.
Therefore, the moral of the story is, we cannot judge another man or woman, for the state that they are in, because we honestly do not know what God is trying to do or accomplish on their behalf. Another lesson of course is that we need to be merciful to others instead of being ready to throw stones at them for their “sin” and we need to check our heart and see what is lying around there, are we any different to them, do we need to repent for our pride and arrogance as well, especially when assuming something about them.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, even though this was a Sunday school lesson that I learnt a long time ago, it is valid today and if you find yourself in a position of judgment, against another brother or sister in Christ because of their behavior I urge you to heed the warning and repent. Asking the lord to forgive you is essential to keeping that relationship with him open and real.
If you have opened your mouth and actually uttered your thoughts, maybe you will need to go to that person and ask them to forgive you for judging them. It is a hard thing to do, but humbling yourself before the person, as well as before the lord is the right thing to do.
Remember the lord says that he draws near to the humble but opposes the prideful. If you are anything like me, I am sure that you do not want the lord literally fighting against you because of your prideful attitude. Repent today and let the Lord restore you to him once again.
My prayer for you today is that the lord will continue to bless you, to surround you with his favor like a shield and to draw your heart into a deeper walk with him.
Filed under: Our new Journey