I was awake with my mind going at 2:24 this morning. How frustrating! I am sure you all have had this happen. Have you ever stopped to evaluate the thoughts you were having when you woke up in the middle of the night and could not go back to sleep no matter what sleep inducing technique you used? For me they are never positive.
Last night I woke with an overwhelming sense of being alone—not a part of things. Tears of sadness ran down my cheeks as I thought of how vital and involved I have been in the past. I have given up all involvement in leadership in all areas of my life. I am only involved in care giving and taking care of my home. In the past I have juggled much as I took leadership roles at church, lead a Bible Study Fellowship group, worked in a career with a leadership position, and took a leadership role in family events. Last night I felt like a total nobody. My mind was focusing on how insignificant I have become to others with whom I used to be involved.
Not for a minute do I believe I am insignificant. I am a vital, integral part of caring for my mother and my mother-in-law who lives with us. My husband treats me like I am his queen. However, I do miss the frequent and fun interactions with friends. But our lives are so different now. They are deeply involved with children and grandchildren. I am mostly at home dealing with the health and care issues of an invalid.
Most importantly, God has made it very clear that I am very significant to him. I know he values me like the shepherd values the lost sheep in this parable.
“ Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:3-7 NIV
Jesus experienced the ultimate rejection of his friends, neighbors, and the nation yet chose to lovingly follow God’s command to display love, to accurately teach about God, and to remain sinless even when treated badly by humans. Isaiah told the Jews hundreds of years before he was born that Jesus would be a man of sorrows who was dispised by the world.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3-4 NIV
Jesus prayed then did God’s will.
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42 NIV
So I prayed. I prayed for my friends who I miss, for the duties God will have me execute for him in the future, and for the ability to graciously and lovingly perform the tasks in my current life assignment from him. I prayed for a right attitude about my current situation.
Lord, thank you for your patience with me. Thank you for showing me your love—for making me feel valued.