I’m broken. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told by a medical professional that I’m a walking miracle and should donate by body to science after I die because I shouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. It would be easier to list the things in my body that work properly rather than the things that don’t. For years, I’ve focused on all that is run-down, worn out, and broken in my life rather than on the positive, and it’s time for it to stop!
To be fair, when living with a chronic illness, we’re asked on a regular basis to do just that. Doctors want to know what’s wrong in our bodies and all the ways we’re struggling. Friends want to know if we’re feeling sick this week. Churches want to know if they should put us on their prayer list so they can pray over what ails us. By themselves, these things aren’t bad, but as time passes and years spent living with an illness fly by, it becomes easier to start the day by thinking about what’s wrong than it is to think about what is right.
You’re sick. You owe us money. I need you to do something. Over and over we are assaulted with problems and things people expect from us on days we feel so bad we simply want to go back to bed and hide. The world places its demands at our feet and we are left feeling overwhelmed, seeing the negative, dealing with fears and doubts, and asking the never-ending question…What can I do?
I think if we’re honest, we’ve all had this thought at some point or another. We’re taught that our lives have a purpose, that we wouldn’t be here if God didn’t want to use us. But we’re broken. Our bodies are messed up and our lives are filled with challenges. Some of us are sick. Some of us have been beaten up by the numerous problems life has thrown our way. Some of us are just down-right tired. We’re tired of fighting to survive. So how could God possibly want to use people like us when all we are is a broken vessel?
It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve finally learned something God has been trying to teach me for a long time. All of these years I’ve been asking the wrong question. The question isn’t “What can I do,” but “What can God do?”
Instead of starting the day by questioning what we can do, we need to ask God what He wants to do. It sounds so simple, but every time I ask God how He wants to use me today, He always surprises me with something new. Just this morning I got a phone call asking me to take a pack of ginger ale and crackers to friends whose entire family had been taken out by a stomach bug. To them, it didn’t matter that I didn’t feel like wearing my contacts instead of my glasses, or that I showed up wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Instead of being a plain-old, broken Erin, I was an answer to a prayer.
That’s what God does! He can and wants to use each of us. To Him, you’re not a pathetic, worthless piece of junk. You have value to God and His kingdom. So your life has challenges? Whose doesn’t? If you obsess on how long it takes you to complete a task, you’ll never accomplish anything.
You’re ALIVE!!! It’s time to act like it! There will come a day when you’re not, but until it happens, you need to live. Don’t spend your life waiting to die. Choose to live!
“This day is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous to see! This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, please help us. Save us. Give us success.” ~ Psalm 118:23-25 (TLB)