If you’ve ever had someone take care you when your sick, you know the tension of being so grateful, yet feeling so helpless. There’s literally nothing you can do in that moment to pay back the kindness, you can only receive it. I’ll be honest not so deep down inside, I love to be taken care of. Because for those one or two days it’s acceptable to do nothing but get better. Lot’s of naps, and juice, some tv, and maybe a little ice cream. Essentially you get to act like a six year old in the name of getting healthy.
Being unwell makes us less productive in our work, makes us a threat to others in many cases, and usually is a cause to slow down for a period of time. I see so many of the people I counsel and converse with who understand this principle in the natural but totally miss it spiritually. They are afraid to slow down, to stop serving, to put ministry on hold. Meanwhile they are un-well, their spirits are aching, and they are in need of some relief.
If you know anyone who has survived Cancer you know it’s often referred to their “battle” with cancer. Why? Because they did whatever it took to become well. When you fight that hard for wellness, you better believe it’s a battle.
There are many ways our spirit can become unwell. Sometimes it’s a soul wound from loosing someone close to you. It can be from business in ministry or family or work where we reach the point of burn out. Even the end of a serious relationship can bruise our soul. The process of two becoming one may come to a greater fulfilment in marriage but it starts much longer before that. That’s what a truly loving relationship is, it’s the process of two souls intertwining and being bound together with the third element of faith making a three strand cord.
9Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?12And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
So when that relationship is severed the soul is confused there is a lot damage done by the ripping apart and untying. There are lots of ways to incur damage to your spirit, to become unwell. But how then do we become well and why is that important in the first place?
Mat 19;19 “...and Love your neighbor as your self”. I want you to notice the word AS there.
The Greek word can most definitely be translated “in the same way”. Which makes since we usually love our selves with a spirit of self preservation. We, for the most part, don’t let “us” go hungry, thirsty, naked, without a place to sleep, or completely devoid of human contact. And I honestly believe that for those who God puts in our path that need help we should love on them in the same way.
That word “as” in Mat 19 can also mean “as you go” or “while you are” it’s a continuous action. I truly believe we can not love others in the healthiest ways unless we are taking care of ourselves. As we are taking care of ourselves, keeping ourselves healthy and loved than we can pour that on other people. And the source of our filling must be the love of the Father.
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
It is not selfish to take care of yourself, to get well, to be healthy. If anything for those who are in Christ it’s an expression of love for those who God will use us to serve in the future.
...but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Let me quickly explain that there is a difference in my mind between serving out of brokenness and serving out of un-wellness. We are all broken and God is a God who loves to use the broken. We have flaws, we are not perfect, that’s His job. Sometimes we beat ourselves up to keep pushing and we end up serving out of a place that's unwell and it's not our best.
I believe God wants us to be well. and to love others as we are loved My mother describes the difference like this,
“Brokenness I think it is a willingness to be vulnerable about our struggles and pain and deficiencies; but willing to be obedient to God's leading, to continue to serve others in need. And
unwell, I feel, means that I am not walking with the Lord in heart and spirit, and if I attempt to minister, it would be in my own wisdom not Holy Spirit guided wisdom, therefore I am unwise to serve in that state.”
And I would agree and say often it is our brokenness and our transparency that is the beginning of wellness and healing for our soul and spirit.