I remember sitting in bed with hardly any energy. I had watched a marathon of episodes of a television series on Netflix. I didn’t want to get up and had been staring at the same four walls of my bedroom for several days. My immune system was down, I couldn’t have many visitors, and honestly didn’t want people to see me like this. I was quarantined to my bedroom and thought, “Is this all there is for me now? Is this my purpose, to lie in bed and watch TV?”
Admittedly, I was having a bit of a pity party. Poor me. I used to be active. I used to do things, important things. I used to want to get up in the morning and go to work. I used to go grocery shopping, get my hair done, and have fun with my friends. People depended on me. Now look at me. My dog sighed and rolled over.
Then came God’s still small voice. He seems to let me have pity parties for a little while and then gently, kindly, nudges me and says, “Ok, enough is enough. Let’s take a realistic view of your situation.” I could imagine Him saying: “Yes, you are in bed. Yes, you are probably watching too much TV. Yes, you have been staring at those walls for quite a while, and yes, choosing that paint color probably wasn’t your best moment. But let’s look at what you can do. You can still breathe; you can still think; you can still talk.” Ok, three boxes checked.
“Let’s look at some other things. You still have people that interact with you on a daily basis: your husband, your brother, your son, and the secretaries, doctors and nurses at the cancer clinic. Then there are the people that call you, send cards, and pray for you regularly. Are you getting it yet? You can still listen; you can still care; you can still pray. Prayer, that is a biggie and you are still very capable of doing it.”
Then God hit me with the biggest one of all: “You can still listen to Me and obey Me. Do you want to know what I want you to do? Do you want to know the most important thing you can do during your life time? Love and obey Me, and ‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’” (John 15:12).
Let’s take a look at a conversation Jesus had with some of the religious leaders of His day:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28–31)
Wow, God’s most important commandments! And guess what? We can do them while lying in bed. We can do them while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. We can do them when “all of our strength” doesn’t seem to amount to very much. But to God, it does, and it brings him immense pleasure when we use it to love Him and to love others.
From Sara's book The Bald Headed, Tattooed, Motorcycle Mama's Devotional Guide for Women Battling Cancer & Those Who Love Them copyright 2013 Sara Nelson O'Brien.
All photos courtesy of pixabay.com.