ON THE JOURNEY

JILL SIMMONS, ASSOCIATE PASTOR

I love so much when I get to visit with people of our church in their homes. It provides the opportunity to have really meaningful conversations. Recently, I visited with a man who has struggled with severe medical issues for years. He’s had multiple surgeries, some of which were major. He is again facing a major surgery.


He recently volunteered to be a part of the Care Team at Journey. He’s so excited for the opportunity to send out cards to encourage and share the love of Christ. I emailed him asking to send out cards, not realizing he was facing major surgery himself. When we visited, I told him not to worry about the sending the cards, we would find someone else to do this. He looked at me and said, “Well Jill, I’ve already done the cards, and I found specific Bible verses to encourage each person as well.” I know he could see the surprise on my face. I told him “thank you” and said I would remove him from the Care Team emails for a while since he would be having a surgery. He looked at me and said, “I can write those cards while I’m recovering from my surgery. I’ll be happy to.”


Wait. What? The surgery he is facing is not minor. The surgery will alter the rest of this man’s life. It will take him months to learn to walk again, and yet he wants to write cards of encouragement to others? What a great example of loving God and loving people! My eyes filled with tears. I still can’t believe the servant’s heart this man is exhibiting. That is what living the Christian life is all about. He could be upset and whining over his current circumstances, but he’s not. He is praising God in the face of a difficult, life-altering surgery and wants to continue to serve.


I think we all can learn from this encounter. Obedience comes before our personal comfort and circumstances. God has called this man to something bigger than his own situation. In spite of what he’s facing, he still wants to encourage and love others. He’s being obedient. He’s allowing the Holy Spirit to help him look past his discomfort for a greater purpose. What about you? What about me? What discomforts are we struggling with today? How can we serve God in spite of our current circumstances?


-Jill