An elderly Christian I once knew had multiple health problems, the worst being his heart, which caused him pain and shortness of breath. As a young man, he’d been a country preacher, and for several years he was the chaplain at a tuberculosis sanatorium. He loved to talk about the “olden days,” and I loved to hear his stories!

Though Brother Neal lived with constant suffering in his final years, he never complained. He kept looking for ways to serve and encourage others, both large ways and small. He did more than always greet everyone with a friendly smile; when it came time to move into assisted living, he found a struggling young couple who needed a place to live and sold them his small house below market value, carrying the note for them.

Neal went home to be with the Lord several years ago, but his example of a servant’s heart still encourages and inspires me today, especially in my health struggles. Simon Peter’s mother is another example that reminds me I can be of use to God’s Kingdom no matter what my physical state is.

When we’re sidelined by illness or other trials of life, we shouldn’t allow it to keep us from serving God and one another in every possible way. Even if it’s just the encouragement of a friendly smile.

You never know who will benefit from the faith you show, especially when things are not the best at the moment. You can always be used by God. It just may be the healing you need as well.

Lord, help me to love you and your people so much that, like Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, my desire is to serve rather than make excuses why I can’t. Amen.

Go Deeper — Are you making excuses for not serving God right now? If so, why not take the time to honestly talk about that with God?

Tags: The Gospel of Mark Mark 1
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