Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are We Only Looking for a Healing Miracle? by Zoe M. McCarthy

In studying and teaching the Gospel of John this year, I’ve learned to look at people suffering from long-lasting conditions differently. I see many as strong, heroic, and doing their Father’s work.

Familiar Joni Eareckson Tada has progressively suffered quadriplegia, chronic pain, and breast cancer. Actually, I don’t think suffer is the right word. The more correct word is used. She has learned to use the physical attacks on her to do her Father’s work. She has received the bonus of a much closer relationship with her Lord.

In the article in Christianity Today, “Joni Eareckson Tada on Something Greater than Healing” by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Joni relates, “In John 14, Jesus says, ‘Anyone who has faith in me will do … even greater things than these.’ We tend to think Jesus was talking about miracles, as if Jesus were saying, ‘Hey guys, look at these miracles! One day, you’ll do many more miracles than me!’

“The thing that Jesus was doing wasn't necessarily the miracles. He was giving the gospel; he was advancing his kingdom; he was reclaiming the earth as rightfully his. When Jesus gave that promise, he was saying, ‘I'm giving you a job to do, my Father and I want the gospel to go forth, and I promise you’ll have everything you need to get that job done, and you’ll do an even better job than me.’ Jesus ministered for three years, and at the end, he had a handful of disciples who half-believed in him. After Jesus went to heaven and the Holy Spirit came down – my goodness, Peter preaches one sermon and thousands believe. That’s the greater thing that God wants us to do.”

Joni goes on to list the types of medical persons who ask her the tough questions about her illnesses and her faith. She is delighted at the chance to answer their questions.

Perhaps you are thinking, “Well that’s the convictions of one celebrity invalid. Many other Christians don’t see their suffering that way.” That’s true, but I am seeing more and more who do.

Take friend John for example. After a diagnosis of MS, he went about his Father’s work. From his wheelchair, he has become a Christian lay speaker, gives the children’s message in church, and he and his wife deliver shawls and pray with suffering people in the community. What an example of hope for children and adults. He says he has enjoyed a much deeper relationship with the Lord since the onset of his illness, and that he’s thankful that God healed him from a recent serious fall so he can continue to serve his Lord.

Before I thought of these two examples, God showed me how Jesus used healing miracles as signs to reveal that He is the Lord who came to save people from their sins. Some examples are: healing the man at the Sheep Gate pool, the royal official’s son, and the man born blind. Jesus was faithfully doing His Father’s work. Although Jesus compassionately healed, calling people to faith, change, and doing His Father’s work as disciples was his priority.

The Lord Jesus was full of joy after leading the Samaritan woman and her townspeople to faith in Him. He told His disciples that doing His Father’s will was his food (John 4:34). Doing our Father’s work will fill us with joy too.

Today’s Upper Room devotion spoke of how we are to embrace what God is doing in our lives. As Jesus told the church in Philadelphia in Revelation 3, God has placed before us open doors of opportunity that no one can shut. No matter what our condition is, we don’t want to miss those opportunities. Paul understood this. He said: “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13)

Whatever God has called us to do is powerful work. He gives us the miracle of His power to do His work.

Are you suffering from a “thorn in your side” or something more debilitating? Can you be about your Father’s work, even if you’re only able to offer intercessory prayers for others?

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Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little-known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Her first novel is Calculated Risk. She has two more contemporary romances and a nonfiction book to help writers ready their manuscripts coming out soon. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.
Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk

What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books

2 comments:

  1. Enjoyed this post. I had the opportunity to personally meet Joni prior to a presentation she gave at Word of Life in Schroon Lake, New York. She is such an inspiration and an amazing person.

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    Replies
    1. Patti, It's nice to hear of someone who has personally seen Joni doing her Father's work. Long ago, I read her books and was touched.

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