Matthew 14:13-14 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
This scripture passage always causes my heart to stir. The humanity of Jesus, upon hearing of John the Baptist being beheaded, retreats by boat to be alone and deal with His emotion. Yet, because of who He is, the people follow him and when He arrives on land He is surrounded by many people. Can you imagine what He must have felt when He saw them? I know what I would have felt, because I have felt it before. I would have said, “Not now! Please go away and let me be!” But this is not Jesus’ response. The scripture says that when He saw the crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick. In the midst of His sorrow for John, He ministered to others.
In my life, there have been times I had the opportunity to follow the example of Jesus and to minister to others in the midst of my pain. Some of those times, I was able to do so and I received more than I could imagine back to me. Others, I am sorry to say I did not give to others through my pain. I turned inward and focused on my grief. I ignored the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and I put my needs above the will of God. Needless to say, in those times I did not receive anything back for my selfishness.
This is not to say that our grief in life is to be dismissed! We need to allow ourselves to grieve when life brings us tragedy, but we also need to be careful not to wallow in our grief. I have had seasons in my life where I wore my grief like a badge of honor, and put it on an altar as an idol. It became my defining factor for everything I encountered.
On the flip side, I have also ministered through my pain, even when it hurt, in a very public way. As a member of the worship team at my church, I have stood before the people, leading them into worship, and all the while my inner turmoil was waging war against me. The funny thing about worship is its ability to take my eyes off of my situation and focus solely on Jesus. Without fail, that brings peace to me, if only for a while.
What about you? Have you had moments of ministering to others even when it hurts? What blessing did that return to you?
Day 37 and I am feeling strong. Unfortunately I did not walk today because I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep . Seriously, I need to figure out how to kick my rear in gear and get moving!
Food today was good. I ate beans and rice for breakfast because, Why Not? Then smoothie for lunch and coffee at work. I cut up a bunch of carrot sticks for snack at work, but didn’t have time to eat them. When I came home I ate some more lentil cottage pie. I didn’t have any tea today, although I may make some Chamomile Tea to help relax me before bed.
Nothing exciting to report on the food front again today. Tomorrow should be better because I am going to lunch with a friend and that is always an adventure.
So for now, it’s Day 37 heading for some pillow time.