"Here I Am … Send … ME?

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,   “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”  Isaiah 6:8

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For those of you who are Facebook friends, you've already seen this quote from sermon by Bruce Goettsche from Union Church in IL. I've posted some comments by Bruce before and his faith never ceases to amaze me and I continue to learn from his email sermons.  I understand that he also has YouTube videos.

This is what Bruce has to say:

Imagine being a person with a bad illness. Instead of asking people to pray that you be made better you ask that people pray that you not waste this opportunity to testify of your faith in a powerful and effective way no matter what happens. That is a powerful prayer; a life changing prayer.

What a challenging comment.

When I first read this, I wasn't aware of the challenges that lie only days ahead of me.  Now, I feel these words as a personal challenge.

We are looking at a double dose of difficulties right now.

My mom has been hospitalized for the second time in less than a week for breathing difficulties.  Some cognitive issues are surfacing.

She looks older, and sicker than I've ever seen her to look.  She has always looked so much younger than her 95 years.  Last night, as I looked at her face in her hospital bed, she looked every day of those 95 years.  And I know they've been difficult days for her, having outlived all of her immediate family, her friends, her husband, and her son and son-in-law, she has stayed strong.

Now she looks so weak.

I want her to stay strong.  I don't want to see her this way.

Challenge #2 is my own health.

My extreme itchiness and what I thought were allergic reactions are something different that I expected, having to do with histamine levels and mast cells.  There can be a difficult diagnosis at the end of this.  Could be.

So, now the question is:

"How do I then pray?"

Do I pray for that healing?  Do I pray for the best in my own sight for my eyes?

Or do I look to Bruce's words and pray that I not waste either of these opportunities to testify of my faith, to make me a better person though these trials?

And am I brave enough, do I trust God enough, to ask others to pray for me in the same way.

Yes, I am going to pray for God's best in each situation.  I don't think Bruce meant not to expect that. But to pray that God will use these situations to grow His kingdom is kind of new for me.

So, I am putting it out there.  I'm asking you - if you choose to pray - to pray that God WILL use these days to make me a better person.  That He will use them in a way that will let others see Him and maybe - get to know Him for the first time.

Oh, how this life with chronic illness is fraught with challenges.

Think of how many opportunities this affords us!

I know the opportunities can be as challenging as the illnesses themselves.

Yet, much like Isaiah, I think the response that delights God is,

"Here I am.  Send me."

And then to go wherever He leads.

I've often wondered how Isaiah was able to say that.

I guess this is my opportunity to find out.

Blessings on you, dear readers. May you grow in Him each day - no matter what road you are placed on today. Amen and amen.

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