As detailed in my post entitled Identity with Chronic Illness, I had to confront and wrestle with the fact that getting sick showed me my identity was closely linked to my academic/career success and not just to the fact I was a Child of God (John 1:12). The truth is that as a Christian, whether or not we are long term sick, there are going to be different aspects of our lives that may try and influence our identity. Examples include: popularity, health, illness, success or money. Therefore I think it is actually healthy for us all to pause and think periodically about where our identity is found.
We are called to live in the world but not be of the world (John 17:13-19). This isn’t easy but it is possible through God’s strength and wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit living in us (Romans 8:11). God is continually seeking to mould and shape us to make us more Christ like (Romans 2:10). For that I am very thankful because although it can be painful in the short term it is beneficial for us, God truly does know what we need better than we know ourselves (Matthew 6:8). As Leighton Ford said: ‘God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way.’
So my challenge for you and me today is to come to God and ask him to highlight anything in our lives which needs to change, he will help us (Isaiah 41:13). God wants to make us whole; ‘…he will forgive our sins…’ (1 John 1:9), ‘he heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds’ Psalm 147:3. This was once explained to me by being told to imagine myself on an operating table with Jesus as the surgeon. I had many shards of glass inside me and they were damaging my body. Jesus was carefully removing them one by one. It hurt for them to be removed but I was better without them, he was working on me because of his love for me (1 John 3:1).
Lord Jesus thank you that your love for us surpasses all understanding. Thank you that you work in us and that you removing any shards of glass that we carry. Please highlight anything in my life that needs to change. Amen.