Don’t Wait Until You Feel Like It
By: Tammy A. Phillips
While my youngest sister was studying for her nursing degree, one of her classmates committed suicide. This woman was not known to the other students. However, their professor announced that the entire class would be attending this young woman’s funeral. Many complained bitterly about tolerating this inconvenience for someone they did not know. But the professor was insistent.
Begrudgingly, dozens of students showed up at the funeral home. What they saw broke their hearts: only two women stood in front of the casket; no one else was present. The women, who were the dead student’s mother and sister, turned around and almost collapsed with joy when they saw the uniformed nursing students. They profusely thanked each one for taking time out of their busy schedules to be with them. Mother and sister were convinced that others cared about their loved one.
A friend’s stepdaughter got pregnant while she was in college. Her father was so concerned that she would not finish her degree. Love made my friend volunteer to take care of her husband’s grandson until her stepdaughter graduated. Surely there were moments when my friend would have liked to have slept in or been the keeper of her own time during the day. But, whether she felt like it or not, she cared for this child and was instrumental in raising a fine young man.
In Job 2:11-12, we meet Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. They had their own places, their own lives. But when they heard about their friend’s tragedy, they journeyed to his side and wailed with him. I am assuming Job had more than three friends, but these men chose to suffer with him. They could have save themselves the discomfort and stayed home.
Luke 5: 17b-18 says, “… and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.” I wonder if these men felt like pushing through a crowd carrying a sick man on a bed.
In Acts 9:26-27, Barnabas spoke up for a known enemy of Christians: “And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” This was not a comfortable situation Barnabas chose to place himself in, but Paul’s ministry progressed because he did.
Now, I am going to say something radical: Jesus did not feel like going to Calvary.
Our Messiah was as much a man as He was God when He walked the earth. He too experienced weariness, hunger and heartbreak. So, I believe it is fair to say that Jesus was not excited about the prospect of suffering on Calvary. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He passionately asked God to take back His earthly assignment. (Matthew 26:36-39). He knew He would be whipped, crowned with thorns and iron spikes driven into our hands and feet. Jesus Christ carried the sins of the world on the cross. Immanuel endured the physical pain; it did not feel good.
If we waited until we “felt like” doing the hard, the inconvenient or the uncomfortable, we probably would not move one muscle. It does not say in the Scriptures to visit the sick and incarcerated when you feel like it, comfort the grieving when you feel like it and speak up for righteousness when you feel like it. Our flesh, this raging, uncontrollable thing that wants its own way all the time, must be killed daily: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Galatians 5:25). Dying to flesh makes possible our usefulness to God regardless of how we feel.
The nurses would have missed being a blessing and subsequently being blessed if they insisted on having their own way. My friend would have missed out on contributing to the life of her grandson and alleviating her husband’s concerns. The man sick with palsy could have missed his healing, Job could have sat alone grieving and Paul could have lost out on the ministry of Barnabas, “the encourager” if these friends did what was easiest. Had our Savior said, “I don’t feel like going to Calvary”, you and I would be eternally lost.
Is there an opportunity for you to be used by God today? If so, get moving. Don’t wait until you feel like it.