God’s thoughts to me
Jesus said: ” There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. “. ( Luke 16 : 19 – 20 )
The Invisible Ones
I have often wondered what differentiates FM/CFS so much from other diseases and illnesses that causes all the hostility, disregard, indifference and unbelief from not only the medical profession, sometimes friends and family, but even worse, our church families. Browsing through quite a few blogs of fellow fibro-sufferers, has convinced me that almost all of us have had our fair share of humiliation, ridicule and belittleling from those to whom we have looked to for help, especially the doctors and specialists.
I think we are all quite familiar with that famous all-in-your-head diagnosis that makes us so vulnerable and insecure and causes us to easily question our worth as a person and even our sanity. All that on top of the suffering that we already experience can be quite devastating. I can vividly remember my own feelings of despondency, fear and that terrible uncertainty of not knowing whether this illness is fatal or if it really exists. The overwhelming feelings of desolation made me feel as if I was lost in a labyrinth, a maze without an exit, desperately trying to escape. The fibrofog made this difficult, if not downright impossible. Describing the symptoms to others felt like reciting my weekly grocery list. The only difference between the two was that my grocery list stayed more or less the same from week to week where the symptoms would not only change from day to day, but even from hour to hour. It truly was a cacophony of symptoms, all screaming and clamouring together for my attention. I started to understand what our Lord meant when He told us in Isaiah 31: 1 ,” What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots and charioteers and depending on the strengh of human armies instead if looking to to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. ” ( NLT )
Then I remembered Lazarus! The main emphasis of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man previously for me used to be the opulence and wealth of the rich man without even the slightest consideration for Lazarus’ plight. All of a sudden I could read this story with new eyes, new understanding and appreciation as our Lord started to reveal to me precious gems that I was totally blind to in the past and desperately needed to know now. My focus shifted from the rich man to Lazarus. Without much information about Lazarus, I was able to discover a wealth of characteristics about him. I now knew the beautiful legacy Lazarus left us.
Just by looking at the way our Lord introduced the two men, became extremely important to me. The rich man was just introduced as a man, to be more specific, a certain man. The Lord did not give us much information about him apart from being very rich and splendidly clothed in fine linen of royal colors. We have no idea of his profession, family background or even his age. We don’t even know the cause of his death. Old age or overindulgence perhaps ?
Lazarus was introduced to us as an individual, a person with an identity. He had a name and what a special name that was. Lazarus means “God is my Help”. He was clothed in the royal robes of God’s Love.
Dear ones,when you are at that place were you feel so insignificant, that God will not take any notice of you or spare you a fleeting thought, never mind caring about your suffering, remember Lazarus.
As with Lazarus your Pappa God knows His precious one by name and not as just a woman or man. Like King David said : ” How precious are your thoughts about me, oh God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand. ” ( Ps. 139 : 17 – 18, NLT ). He knows and cares about the number of hairs on your head! I experience quite a lot of hairloss due to the FM/ CFS, but to know that our Pappa is aware of every single one that I loose, boggles my mind! It makes me feel so loved and special.
When you experience the acute loneliness that this illness causes and are overwhelmed by the indifference of perhaps even your family, remember Lazarus. The only company this dear saint had were dogs licking his sores. His family most probably brought him to the rich man’s gate as was the custom of poor families of disabled or diseased people. The crippled beggar at the Temple Gate whom Jesus healed through Peter after Pentecost is a good example of this custom.
FM/CFS sufferers most often have type-A personalities. Our idol, or shall I rather say cruel taskmaster, is usually perfectionism. We are hard workers and very goal-orientated. Not being able to function at the same capacity as before our FM/CFS days, can leave you quite despondent and feeling of no use to this world. When you are treading this dangerous path, again remember Lazarus ! He was unable to even chase the dogs away that were licking his sores. He could not do some great work for God or give anything to our Pappa. He had no important ministry or program that he needed to run to show our Lord his sincerity. The only thing he could do for our Pappa was to love Him and that he did wholeheartedly. It brought our Father so much joy ! He loved God for Himself and not for His blessings or gifts. This is the one thing the enemy of our souls think we as humans are incapable of. Not so! This is Lazarus’ legacy.
When you are struggling financially due to medical expenses, the loss of employment or if you are struggling to convince the authorities that you actually do qualify for a disability grant, remember Lazarus. He was in no condition to work or earn any wages. He was not even decently clothed. His sores were not treated and he was ill, poor, hungry; without any means. He was ignored by the rich man who did not even temporarily provided for his needs.
When he died our Lord did not mention any burial like the rich man who certainly had a burial fit for a king. I wonder if anyone has even been aware of his death. Angels carried him to heaven, to Abraham’s bosom. Mentioning Abraham was quite significant, because, prior to telling the parable, our Lord Jesus was criticizing the rich, greedy religionists. They thought that they were descendants of Abraham because of all their religious rules, rituals and law-observance, but our Lord told them that they were of their father, the devil.
Please remember, dear Suffering ones, that your Pappa sees you as an unique individual and He is so very close to the suffering. In that beautiful prophetic psalm Jesus assures us: “For He has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned His back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.” (Ps. 22: 24, NLT)
I know my name, Mia, means ” my own “. It gives me so much joy to know that I am my Pappa’s own special one.
Thank you for listening to all my ramblings.
Hugs and kisses
P.S. Do you know the meaning of your name, or what makes you feel special to our Lord ? Please share with us!