Monday, July 11, 2011
THAT SPECIAL TOUCH
We’re never too old to learn and never too old to serve. May the love of God in you compel you to serve Him in a new way. It will stretch your faith and propel you out of your comfortable lifestyle, and it will bring you joy unspeakable.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Never Too Old
Missionary couple Charlie and Debbie Chivers recently spoke at my church about the work of Special Touch, a ministry that serves handicapped people. The Lord nudged me into signing up as a caregiver at their recent summer camp near Waupaca.
Not knowing what to expect, I was apprehensive about caring for someone disabled. Then I learned there would be not one, but three people under my 24/7 care. Yikes! After the first night—with a scant three hours sleep—I wanted to go home.
But God had amazing blessings in store for me and by the end of the third night I knew I wanted to return next year. Love flowed among the 175 guests and 125 staff members like a constant waterfall. It caused me to worship God with abandonment, as uninhibited as the guests. It brought me to a state of total contentment with whatever unpleasant task I faced. It taught me to trust God without a familiar, daily schedule. He led me moment by moment to perform each necessary task. And He gave me the grace and strength to do it willingly, without a thought about my own feelings or needs.
When one of my girls got sick, I didn’t hesitate to clean it up. When they clung to my hand as we shuffled from building to building, I remained patient with their slow pace. When they became upset over something, I hugged them fiercely. I cut up their food, helped them shower, changed their clothing. When they laughed, I laughed. When they cried, I cried. I felt like their mother, though two were in their seventies, like I am.
God doesn’t want us to remain comfortable in our faith, but to stretch it by taking a new step of service to others. Peter stepped out of a boat to meet Jesus on turbulent water. Elderly Abraham stepped out of his tent to follow God to a new, uncharted land. Reluctant Moses led God’s people across the Red Sea and through the desert to the Promised Land.
It’s easy to remain static and comfortable. It’s scary to step into a new role. But the love of Christ within us will help us grow in faith and be of greater service to Him. “But concerning brotherly love … you yourselves are taught by God to love one another, and indeed you do so … but we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more ….” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-11 in part)
Lord, give us willing, humble hearts to follow Your leading no matter what our age, circumstance, or readiness. And bless caregivers everywhere. In Jesus’ name, amen.