A blog reader writes: “A missionary shared how the Lord used thyroid cancer to humble her.
She had been raised in the mission field, was bilingual, and felt that her mission field was in that country where she was raised to serve. She was “hot” for the The Lord used this major life change to convict her of her pride and to teach her to be content in His will. Lord. She loved the language and the people and the culture. When she graduated college in the United States she returned to her father’s house in the mission field to continue his work. She served in her church, a Christian missionary training facility, and the local churches doing training seminars or playing special music. She befriended non-natives who needed to have a friend to speak English to. She refused all offers of marriage until she met a man called to that special place. They were joyfully married and got established in their field. The Lord provided their support, housing, and even special things like a washer and dryer-not common in that country. She was very happy serving God.
Overnight, my friend’s life changed when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer. She and her family had to leave their country, vocation, and all their well made plans and possessions to relocate in the Unites States. When the child was well, my friend was diagnosed with thyroid cancer which when treated left her without the abundant energy she previously possessed. Now instead of being a busy missionary joyfully serving in churches and Christian schools, she was a home-maker with no help in the house other than her family and she suffered from severe fatigue. Also her missionary husband had to take a regular job. She lost her identity. She struggled to get that “fire” back.
She said that the Lord revealed to her that when she had been a big producer for the Lord she sometimes lacked patience with others who did not have her training, abilities, high energy or drive to serve. The Lord used this major life change to convict her of her pride and to teach her to be content in His will making her walk with God deeper and she learned to serve where God took her instead of where she planned, in a deeper way, with more empathy for others.
Dr. Bell shared years ago that when it is easy to jump up and go, there may not be any special reward in that. Love is proved most in doing for Jesus what costs us. Then he shared that when we are sick or clinically depressed, and we do the little that we can even when we don’t feel like it, that God rewards “our feeble efforts”. He said, “Just yield the parts of your body and take the next step-just one step at a time”. Those words have encouraged me and helped me to try when I didn’t feel like it, and the words of my missionary friend have helped me not to judge others in areas that I might excel at. It is really hard to overcome physical and emotional limitations, but so much easier when we think of the Lord using even these hard things for our good and to see others overcoming and not being ashamed to share their struggles.
PS: You might read Hudson Taylor’s spiritual secret for further insight into how one can love the Lord, His word, His ways, His people and still burn out and become judgmental of those who are “less spiritual” He had to return to England a broken man , get to the end of himself, stop trying to cause God’s purpose for his life to come true, get out of the way and let God build His church through Hudson’s yielded self. John Wesley felt too much purpose and strived to do God’s work and build His church and he returned from Georgia a broken man, got to the end of himself and then let God see what He could do through John’s yielded body members. Let’s get sick and tired of striving and just yield ourselves to God tiredness, impulsivity, judgmentality and all and see if He can do anything with the pieces. Your fellow traveler Verle