My friend, may I ask you a question today? Do you feel you have a healthy relationship with Christ, the Shepherd who offers you daily rest in him? Are you resigned to it as it lives in you and not something you need to speculate on or search out?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
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How are you feeling today? Do you feel healthy or unhealthy? If you’re currently suffering from a virus, a bacterial infection or, perhaps, some other transitory illness, you’d probably respond with either “good” or “bad.” Most days we get out of bed and quickly decide how we feel. Some days we feel better than others. Usually, however, thoughts of feeling healthy or not don’t readily come to mind. What about healthy though? If you asked me that question I would probably respond with “I feel healthy today” or “I don’t feel very healthy today.” Why? The reason is simple. A truly sick man knows what healthy feels like. My sickness is congestive heart failure. It’s a disease which will remain with me for the rest of my life. I am indeed sick with it daily. There are days when I feel more healthy than others, but I always feel the sickness. Having passed through cancer and now living through heart disease, I know what healthy feels like as opposed to unhealthy; and this is true for anyone who’s suffered through a disease. As the old saying goes: “It is only the sick man who knows what health is.”
A feeling of health clings in the midst of disease. There’s no need to ask yourself about it, it simply registers with you at some level during the course of the day. I’m not conscious of it, as the feeling of health simply attaches itself to me from waking until sleeping. I am resigned to it as it lives in me not over me.
Here’s a story. In 1846 former president John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke. Although he returned to Congress the following year, his health was clearly failing. Daniel Webster described his last meeting with Adams: “Someone, a friend of his, came in and made particular inquiry of his health. Adams answered, ‘I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in upon by the storms, and from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair.’” (Today in the Word).
When Jesus promises in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest . . .” is this something you’re seeking or simply knowing? In many ways the answer lies in the analogy of sickness and health. Illnesses come and go. Sometimes they stay longer than we wish. Yet, they always release us to wellness sooner or later. That level of resignation Adams showed to his stroke condition is a key as well. Our goal as believers is to become healthy in our relationship with Christ, resigned to his abiding presence with surety. We fall into it daily because it owns us and we do have no need to seek it. Thinking about being in Christ is fine, but the thought may pass as other thoughts come and go each day. We may own him for a while, like a cold or a flu, but there will come a time when the woe has passed and perhaps the abiding purpose as well. Once we come into Christ’s abiding presence as Adams did with his stroke and I with my heart, there is no leaving. It now owns us; we do not own it. Troubles come and go, but the indwelling Christ is going nowhere. So, do you feel spiritually healthy today? Strive for a time you will not ask it.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for providing a spiritual refuge for us in which to abide that is within us and we need not seek it but it seeks us. Forgive us, Lord, when we to find you when we are suffering and never bother to search in the easiest place of all, our own hearts. Your spirit dwells within and is always there to give us rest from our burdens. Help us to look always within. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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