Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up.

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.

This week, Christelle is hosting "In 'Other' Words" at her site, Beloved Mama. Pop on over to read her take on the quote and be sure to leave her a comment.

If you'd like to participate, simply blog about the quote on your site, then leave your blog address in Mr Linky's box on Christelle's site. While you're at it, check out the thoughts of the other participants!

Thanks Christelle for this great quote today!


MiPa said...

Great post Bonnie! Bless you!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I was thinking the same thing about Simon's mother-in-law. I love where you went with this.

My husband became a marriage counselor after watching adultery wreak havoc on his parents' marriage. So, you're right. Suffering can lead to service.

Amy B said...

Wow. You have given me a new perspective to my own story/post that I wrote for this week. God did this very thing with me but I didn't realize it until I came here and read your post!

He is awesome!

Karen said...

Boy that was the truth Bonnie thanks. It is amazing how He takes the struggles we go through and uses them to turn around and help others. I often wonder if I would be the way I am today if I didn't have epilepsy first to get some of my kinks out and learn how to trust Jesus. Thanks

Susan said...

Hey Bonnie,

This was GREAT!! I started to share the very same thing! There were so many ways to approach this verse.

Being submerged in the world of childhood cancer I have found that the mother's who have lost children, (life's greatest loss), the ones who reach out to help others find comfort and strength to go on do the best.

There's just something wonderful about giving BACK and helping others.

Blessings to you♥

Twinkle Mom said...

Good morning!

It's amazing each day how the more we walk with God the more we learn to not only trust Him but ourselves and He gives us the freedom of being released from the bonds that hold us down...It's like reaching that point in our lives we just let our hair flow free so we could feel the gentle wind blow through each strand and touch our soul.

Kim said...

Thanks so much for your post. And you are right...we need to be least I find great healing in being so!!

Blessings to you.


Denise said...

So very true sweetie, bless you.

Beloved MaMa said...

"I realized something really wonderful. As soon as Jesus helped this woman up she began to minister to the needs of others." Thank you for showing me this!!! What a great perspective you have given us!

Andrea said...

I love the picture of Jesus buying back our sufferings so that they can be used to help others! Your post blessed me!


Kysha said...

Lovely post! Thanks for sharing.