Ideas for how to be salt and light when really unwell

We are called to be Jesus to those around us, to love like he loves us, to fight injustices and bind up the broken hearted (for example see: Matthew 5:13-16, Mathew 25:35-36, Luke 4:18). But how do you do this when you are so ill you barely leave the house and when you have limited contact with anyone except your family?

This is something I have wrestled with and felt quite disheartened about at points. However God has showed me I can be just as useful for him when in bed as when fully fit and healthy. This has been quite a long and difficult process (more about that in a later post) but for now here are a few ideas:

  1. Pray, pray and pray some more. My testimony is that short bullet prayers can be powerful! At some points I have been so ill that all I could manage to pray was: ‘God please bless this person today.’ I have been blown away by his answers! One example is a friend has a difficult part of her work week. She asked me to pray just before it happens each time in the week. When I have prayed it has gone well and when I haven’t she knows every time without asking me because it was bad. I reminded myself to do it by putting reminders in my phone. I’m amazed at God using me in this way just because I was available. How could he use you today?
  2. Be Jesus to those you are in contact with whether medical staff, friends or family. A lady from my church called Clare lost her battle with cancer a few years ago and went to be with the Lord. She was an unbelievable witness for Jesus during her illness. The hospital staff and those that visited her were touched by her faith in Jesus and her peace about dying. Her husband Jon said of her: ‘Clare worshipped God, she relied on Him, her hope was in him, she cried out to Him…Do you know what that produced?-acceptance with peace and a restoration of the joy of salvation.[1] She is a real inspiration to me that I can remain faithful and trusting when it gets tough. There will be more about Clare’s faith journey with cancer in later posts.
  3. Give whatever you can whether money, time to listen, making something for someone etc. I’m encouraged by the story of the widow’s offering as told in Mark 12:41-43 and Luke 21:1-4. The widow gives to the temple all she has even though it is a very small amount. Jesus says in Luke 21:3-4 that she ‘has put in more than all the others…[because she] put in all she had to live on.’ It is not about how much we can give to Jesus, it is about giving him what we have.

[1] Taken from a sermon by Jon Lumby called ‘Cornerstone,’ used with permission.

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