2 Corinthians 9:12 - This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
You haven’t worked in years. You know that it’s because of your disability, but you still miss interactions with coworkers. Besides, no one would hire you because you are sick most of the time, right? But how about taking a look at things from a new angle?
There are many opportunities in communities across the country waiting for people to give up a few hours a week to contribute. You could do that. And you’d get that interaction you miss.
Here are some ideas:
Take a look at some other volunteer opportunities on moneycrashers.com in their article, “12 Ways to Volunteer Your Time and Give Back to the Community,” such as volunteering at a local school, organizing a yard sale for charity and becoming a docent at a local museum or theater.
And as you volunteer, God will give you the strength you need to do so a few hours a week. He knows that just getting out of the house and being around people can help you feel better. Also, as you serve others through volunteering, it’s also a way to express your thanks to God for all he’s done for you.
Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Every day we are being watched. Your neighbor next door. The cashier at the grocery store. The person sitting next to you at church. They all notice what you’re doing.
Then there are all of those pesky cameras set up on street lights or attached to buildings and even the one on your computer. They all have their sights set on you.
Does this make you feel paranoid? Do I mean for you to be paranoid about so many people watching you? Well, maybe just a little bit. You are an example to the world around you whether you want to be or not.
There are some people who have chronic pain or are very ill that actually do want people to watch them. Maybe they like the attention. Maybe they just need someone to pay attention to them. To acknowledge they exist even when they are excluded from so many normal activities because their illness prevents them from participating.
Then there are those of us who don’t want to be the center of attention. It puts a lot of pressure on us to try and look like we have at least part of a normal lifestyle. We don’t want to be seen just as the woman who “likes to complain” all the time.
What I want to be like is those I admire, and who have shown the world they have a lot to give no matter what their life looks like. Such as: Joni Eareckson Tada and the many women who go to my church that have Crohn’s Disease, liver disease and battling cancer.
These individuals shine like the morning sun. They wear smiles on their faces not because they’re trying to be something fake, but because they have a cheerful attitude and it shows on their faces. Yet, they are also not afraid to tell it like it is and ask for prayer when they battle through another flare-up.
To me, these people are like the Bible verses above talk about. They are part of the great cloud of witnesses that surround my life. They give me the strength to take that next step; putting one foot in front of the other and continue running with perseverance the race that is marked out for me.
We can become part of someone else’s cloud of witnesses. It just takes putting our self aside and seeking to be an encouragement to someone else. What do you want others to see in you? Do you want to be seen as the one who always wants to be in charge, or one who picks on others and finds faults in what others do?
One of the big ones for me is I want to be known as an encourager. Someone who can find good things in an individual and let them know you noticed their act of kindness. We all need leaders who will lead by example not by making everyone think the leader is better than his followers.
You’re going to be an example to someone no matter what. Either it will be a good example or a bad one. Which one do you choose? To leave a comment, just click on the blue “comments” below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.