The year 2012 is not a cheery year for reminiscing for me, but it is indeed an enlightening one. I do take pride in being independent and self-sufficient. Then one day God decided to take that away from me, at least for a while. Just long enough for Him to make a point – and a powerful one at that – enough to impact my stagnant spirit.
I got ill and I was alone in a foreign country away from my family. I remember praying “Lord, I have no one, please show up.” He did, just like I knew He would.
Still, it came as a surprise even to me. I had been a recipient of five out of the seven corporal works of mercy. I was fed, given drink, clothed, sheltered, visited and attended to. I was given that and more by God-sent friends who even added in a full body massage and human crutch services to the already extra special care. The Lord sent me wonderful people to be His physical envoys in my time of great need. I have no better way to term it than they had been physical Jesus to me. They loved me like family it seemed to me. In fact I have no doubt that if I land in jail that they will visit me; and that if they stumble upon my dead body that they would give me a decent burial.
I knew that if Jesus were physically with me then that He would have done for me the very things they did. But He didn’t need to be physically present because He sent them to me, as His instruments, to be His vessels, and His channels. They had been to me the physical hands and audible voice of Jesus during the time I needed it most. And because they had been nothing but love to me it really felt like Jesus Himself came down from heaven to take care of me.
Family isn’t always blood. Sometimes it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; who will be there in your time of need, no questions asked, expecting nothing in return. That meant that I had been a recipient of the kind of love I can never repay. Their love they have shown clearer than they can ever say it louder.
I knew then that when God allows something to happen to me that He is actually doing it for me. His gaze never strays away from me. His grace ever surrounds me. I am able to be who I am and do what I do only because He wills it. When I stray off focus He redirects my path in ways only He does so lovingly well.
I am grateful that when God sends people in my life He makes it evident. He makes His image and likeness in them very visible to me. God always gives me reasons to pray with joy – most of the time those reasons are beautiful people.