I was in choir rehearsal teaching a song, when suddenly, a piercing sensation shot through my stomach and wrapped around my back. There was a feeling of tightening, as if there were a belt squeezing me—only a hundred times more painful.
One minute, I was teaching the singers their parts and the next, I was doubled over, sweating profusely and feeling queasy.
I had just consumed McDonald’s, my favorite place to dine back then (Not anymore!), before making my way to church.
I was feeling both full and content, until things took a turn for the worst.
For a while, I tried to continue training the choir members. As the minister of music, I was expected to fulfill my duties. No matter how badly I wanted to, however, I couldn’t keep rehearsing.
I was unable to hold any food on my stomach and could not stand upright. When I got home, I hoped I’d feel better after lying down for a while.
Things just got worse from there.
I thought I may have been suffering from food poisoning, but that was an inaccurate assumption.
When I phoned my doctor crying, after relaying the details of my condition, he said, “It sounds like you’re having a gallstone attack.”
A what? I thought.
Both my parents had suffered with gallstones, so I was familiar, but just felt shocked that I was going through it.
The trip to the ER was torturous. I was writhing in pain and sobbing. Once at the hospital, I kept having to run to the ladies room. I had never been that sick before.
“We need to take it out,” the surgeon told me matter-of-factly. “Your gall bladder needs to go.”
I just listened.
“The attack you suffered was really bad and we can’t guarantee it won’t happen again. You have gallstones lodged in your pancreas, causing serious internal damage. The next attack might be worse,” he told me with a stern look.
He continued, “It’s unusual to see someone as young and seemingly as healthy as you be so sick. We really need to operate.”
I was about 115 pounds and very active, but my diet was horrible.
I ate fast food constantly.
Before marrying my husband Kenya a year earlier, I rarely ate supper at home. Sometimes, I’d hit up the drive-thru at a local restaurant a couple times a day. Whatever I craved, I ate it: burgers, fries, pizza, hoagies, ice cream, chips and anything else I wanted.
After marriage, I did somewhat better, but I was pretty addicted to junk.
The fact that I was technically “a healthy weight” meant nothing. Inwardly, I was diseased and unhealthy.
You can never judge a book by its cover.
Unfortunately, people do it all the time. Because of this tendency, individuals are ostracized, sized up wrongly, undervalued, or even dismissed, just the way the children were in Matthew 19.
When Jesus was in Judea discussing matters of the law with the Pharisees, children were brought to Him, so Jesus could put His hands on them and pray.
But the Bible says in verse 13 that the disciples rebuked the ones who presented the youths to the Master.
In verse 14 (NIV), Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
In the preceding chapter, Matthew 18:1-4, when the disciples asked Jesus, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” the Lord gave them an unexpected response.
He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Children are humble, loving, innocent, and they easily believe—all qualities Believers need to have.
The very ones the disciples shooed away, were the ones who exemplified the character of kingdom citizens.
Friend, sometimes, even disciples of Jesus can read you wrong. They will dismiss you, size you up and treat you as if you don’t matter. If this has happened in your life, don’t let that get you down. Remember, imperfect people serve a perfect Savior.
In other words, people make mistakes. We all do. Sometimes we simply have warped ideas, attitudes and notions.
But God, He never makes mistakes!
He knows who you are. He has hand-picked you as a vessel of honor.
I know particular folks may judge you for where you are. They might look down on you.
But that's okay.
You are yet anointed, chosen and beloved by God.
Like the shepherd boy David, who was not even viewed as worthy of kingship by his own father Jesse (1 Samuel 16), you may have been discounted the same way.
Nevertheless, we see through David that God chooses whomever He pleases. He will showcase His glory through the ones others least expect to be used and favored by the Savior.
Just know this: no matter how many times you’ve been passed over, God’s favor has not passed over you. It rests on your life. His goodness is surrounding you. His blessings are going to overtake you.
Don’t worry about who doesn’t acknowledge you; who doesn't see your gifting; who doesn’t support you; who won’t help you; who talks about you; who snubs you; or who views you as less-than.
Just because others may be blind to who you are in Christ, does not mean you cease to be significant in the kingdom.
God has selected you and ordained that you be fruitful. Your future is much brighter than you can imagine, as long as you stay in God’s will.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring John 15:16 (NIV) into your cup of inspiration, which says, "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, remember, you are equipped, empowered and enabled to walk in destiny. You have been anointed and appointed by God. You are blessed and favored of the Lord.
From this day forward, embrace what God says about you. Adopt His views. Speak His word. See yourself through His eyes.
God, thank You for choosing and anointing me for great things. In times when I feel inferior, small, incapable, and overlooked, please remind me that Your word calls me blessed, loved, favored and chosen. Today, I accept what Your word says about me and reject everything that comes to refute it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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