The Christian life isn’t about me. It’s about Christ in me.
These are the words I woke up to this morning as the radio turned on to tell me it was time to get up. These are the very words that have been on my lips and in my heart over the past couple days as I’ve seen and read about so many going through hard times.
Yesterday I spent a few moments with one of my dear friends whose husband has been going through some very difficult health issues. They have spent 19 days in the hospital over the past month. During that time my friend’s husband has been in critical condition in ICU, moved to a regular room, gone home, gone back to the hospital, gone to multiple doctor appointments, etc., etc. My friend has had little sleep, had to sleep in hospital beds so she could be near her husband (her husband could only sleep in a recliner in the hospital, so she took the bed!), made multiple trips between home and the hospital, and much more.
And as I talked and prayed with her yesterday, the one thing that she said that stood out to me was that she looks back at all they have gone through so far and she can see that it wasn’t her that got her through it. She knows that it is only Christ in her that helped her through those tough days, and it will be Him that continues to strengthen her in the days ahead.
So with that whole conversation on my mind, to wake up to these words this morning just confirmed to me that this was something I needed to blog about. There are so many going through very difficult times right now that need to know that they can’t go through this alone. It is only Christ in us that can carry us through the hard times.
As I ponder these words…The Christian life isn’t about me. It’s about Christ in me…it all becomes clear…
- How a husband (and their two young children) can have such peace when his wife goes into the ER sick and then receives the news she has a very aggressive cancer. Then only 3 weeks later the cancer has doubled and she is fighting for her life right now.
- How my mom who has been struggling with macular degeneration in her one eye never complains, but continues to quilt and sew and do the things that bring her joy.
- How my father went through cancer surgery with such grace and peace, even while having to deal with the inconveniences of the recovery process.
- How my friend could go for days sleeping in hospital beds to be with her husband and make it through with such faith and trust in God.
- How a close family friend can remain faithful as he begins chemotherapy treatments this week for cancer.
So many close to me are going through so much, and it is my nature to want to step in and “fix it” if I can. But I know that we are not guaranteed an easy life and the most important thing I can do is to pray for these that are going through hard times, that they will continue to allow Christ in them to carry them through.
I also know that God has called us to carry one another’s burdens. The “fix it” in me wants to go and do everything I can for each of these special people in my life, but I know that I must live by the same rules — if I try to do anything in my own strength I will fail, I will be overwhelmed, and I will become defeated.
Just as those going through trials in their lives must allow Christ in them to carry them through, so we who are there to help carry the burden (through prayer, meals, finances, etc.) must make sure that we are not doing any of those things in our own strength. We must allow Christ in us to guide us in how and when to help.
I have to be honest that there have been many times I have jumped in to help do something because I felt obligated to, or I thought I would look bad if I didn’t, but that was so wrong! I was making it all about me and it is not all about me! It is about Christ in me, guiding me and using me to do His will — being His hands and feet to those around me.
So whether you are the one going through a hard time right now, or you are a family or friend walking beside someone who is, let’s remember that we all need to fully rely on the Lord for our strength. It is only Christ in us that will carry us through.
And in the end, God will be glorified in and through our lives! Amen!