After church we went out to dinner with about 40 people at Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant. There were probably 5-10 kids under the age of 8. If you have children, you understand this can be crazy town. One conversation between adults could be fragmented into about 15 conversation, and, in all reality, the point of the conversations rarely get finished. Not to mention there is usually an untimely bathroom break that always seem to happen as soon as the food gets there. That is just part of it. It can feel stressful. It can sometimes feel frustrating. It is often more painful than joyful. As soon as our food got there, Vivian (my 5 year old daughter), started to feel bad. Her face turned pale and you could tell that the chips and salsa that went down were about to come back up! Kristi took her to the restroom as I paid and started to gather our food to go. The night was shot. However, I started thinking on the way home how blessed we were to have a sick kiddo. Not blessed that she got sick, but thankful that her sickness was temporary. I truly felt grateful for her sickness. I knew it was temporary and there are some children and adults who aren’t so fortunate. She just ate too fast and her body was telling her enough is enough.
Some people’s bodies have been telling a story because of sickness and it is more serious than eating too much. Sometimes it’s not physical sickness that is the problem, but our hearts. When we have a wounded heart, it can feel as though we are physically sick. A wounded heart can be caused from several issues like hurtful words from others or from ourselves, destructive actions of others or our own, or having things taken from us. When this happens, bitterness, resentments, anger, mistrust, and a lack of forgiveness is the result. Believe it or not, this kind of sickness plays a direct role in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Our wounds, if not treated, can lead to spiritual death. It doesn’t mean you don’t love God, or that you don’t have knowledge, but it means that our spiritual maturity will be stunted where our emotional sickness is. We must concentrate on healing the wounded heart in order to grown in our spiritual walk.
Jesus is clear about this in the bible. Several places Jesus tell us to forgive as he forgives us. It is a command. He also tells us to love one another or we don’t truly love him. The bible talks about getting rid of anger too! In order to do this effectively, we have to deal with the wounded heart so we can grow in our relationship with Him. In fact, our relationship with Him cannot be separated from our relationship to others. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God and the second one is just as import, and it is to love people! We can’t do either effectively if and when we are sick.
Tonight was a blessed night. Vivian was soon feeling better. It was a great reminder that frustrations and stressfulness felt on nights like tonight at the restaurant are simply temporary. It could easily be turned into something more serious like a wounded heart. We have to be vigilant in our pursuit of spiritual health. It may just start with a blessing that doesn’t seem like a blessing at the time. Tonight I was thankful for the reminder. I hate that Vivian didn’t feel well, but she is resilient… just like we are when we have Christ in the center of our sick lives.
Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13) Fortunate for me, and for us, we worship a God who is the great healer. He is the amazing grace giving Father who knows us by name. Because we were born into a world of sin we will constantly be working on our hearts because Jesus told us to. Not because He doesn’t love us, but because he does!
Posted on Tue, June 9, 2015
by John Phipps