I had to smile at today's quote because I've been in that position so many times - in need of being "helped up." But as I prayed and looked back at the context of this scripture, I realized something really wonderful. As soon as Jesus helped this woman up she began to minister to the needs of others.
Peter's mother-in-law was ill. Jesus came and took her hand and helped her up, healing her in that instant His hand touched hers. The thing is - as soon as she was well, she began ministering to the needs of those around her, doing what she was uniquely called and qualified to do.
Service was birthed out of her suffering.
Think about the influential Christian people you know. How many of them are doing what they're doing as a direct result of some suffering in their lives? After Jesus lifted them up, they turned right around and began to minister to people - and often those they minister to are experiencing the same type of suffering they were just lifted from!
One Christian psychologist I know studied the counseling process as a direct result of his wife's struggle with postpartum depression. As Christ helped his wife up, he was motivated to find a way to help others, especially those in ministry who were struggling with mental health issues. As a result, many years later, a counseling training ministry was established to help pastors better minister to those who are suffering in their churches.
Jesus doesn't cause our suffering so we can minister - rather He takes our deepest hurts and walks through the healing process with us. Some how, in the healing process, He "redeems" or buys back those sufferings as if they were precious to Him and He turns right around to use those very struggles we experienced in our lives to help others.
One of the things I am learning as a writer is that my writing becomes more powerful as I become more transparent. As a child, I was taught to hide my feelings and keep the family secrets. Opening up and sharing the things God has done in my life is an emotional and terrifying experience for me.
But I am learning that the more I share - the more open and honest I am - the more He can take those old hurts in my heart and turn them into beautiful and useful tools for ministry. The shame is gone, replaced with glory and it is His doing! He takes my hand and lifts me up to serve Him.
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Thanks Christelle for this great quote today!