The Christian living site of Pastor Jim Piper, Jr.

Having good health and feeling good, what a blessing!

Health is a big deal

It's sometimes fun to listen to a motivating speaker attempting to light the fire inside of his audience. "You can do anything you set your mind on! You have as much potential as your vision will allow!"

Some of that is true but most of it false. Try to share those lines with the person battling cancer or the family dealing with a very ill child. For these, survival seems to be a grand vision.

I've enjoyed pretty good health for the first 38 years of my life (almost two decades ago) and then it began to unravel. One thing after another. Since then, life has been seasons of feeling great and seasons of learning how to deal with ailments and all that comes with them. I was pastoring a fairly large ministry when my health began to decline. Most people were in the dark about my struggles. For the most part we as a family kept my struggles private. 

So, I can identify with Peter's mother-in-law in the following short story:

After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. 31 So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them. (Mark 1:29-31)

The big idea here is Jesus' power and compassion. And for those who have struggled with health, the whole world changes when they feel better - even if just for another season. Here's a few of my thoughts in regard to this text and my personal experiences. I know these should seem obvious but for those who struggle with a lack of empathy, these thoughts might help improve interpersonal skills and insight:

1. Healthy people have a God-given dose of energy and positive vision

2. Unhealthy people struggle with thinking about the future; they are dealing with the realities of today

3. All of us are limited; we are limited by our capacities often effected by our health status

4. Serving those in poor health is to love as Jesus loves just as he demonstrated in this story

5. We should be slow to make judgments about those who seem to be less than they once were... do we know what's going on?

6. We must embrace and express gratitude for good health; it will help us make the most of our days

Finally, if you're struggling, know that God understands. Seek his grace and spread it the best you can just as Peter's mother-in-law did as she could.

Blessings -

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