As I finished a major project last night, one that had been taking up the majority of my time since August, I let out a victory shout. I fully expected my husband to join in, but he didn’t. Surprised, I realized he was wearing earphones and didn’t even hear my cry of victory…
It made me think. So often we are so wrapped up in our own things that, just like my husband had no idea I had accomplished something major, we don’t even notice what others are going through around us.
This was especially true when I had cancer two years ago. The world rotated around me. If I began to doubt this, someone in my family would remind me that I was the queen of the season and I only needed to worry about myself.
Until one day.
One day, as I was having a major meltdown about the possibility of having to go through Chemotherapy, an envelope arrived in the mail. I assumed it was a get-well card. After all, I was sick, and I deserved get-well cards, didn’t I? I wasn’t wrong. It was only when I saw who had written the card that I began to realize just how self-focused I had become…
The card was from the father of one of my best friends. I knew through her that he was suffering from a stage 4 inoperable tumor, he was taking heavy doses of an experimental chemotherapy program, he wasn’t expected to live, and he was miserable from both the cancer and the chemo. Despite this, as well as the fact that he barely knew me, he had looked beyond himself, he had seen my needs, and he had reached out to me.
Suddenly my eyes were unblinded to how self-focused I had become. I repented right then and there. I gave God my worry about Chemotherapy and began to try to focus on others. I can tell you that this little change in attitude was such a relief! It made what I had to go through so much easier to bear!
It is so easy, and even almost expected of us, to fall into the pattern of become focused on ourselves and our own needs. Yet both the Old and New Testaments are clear that God’s desire is for us to show compassion on the needy and the sick, no matter what we are going through ourselves. Jesus even says that when we show mercy to the poor, the sick and the needy, we are, in effect, ministering to Him and will be rewarded accordingly (See Matthew 25:35–40)! Jesus even says that those who show mercy on others will be blessed: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt 5:7). In other words, when we put our attention to helping others, we open the doors for God to bless our own circumstances!
Lord, please help me—help us all!—to not get so focused on ourselves that we are blinded to what is happening in the lives of those around us. Help us, even in the midst of our own problems, to reach out to others, for in so doing, we will be called “blessed”!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.