Posted on January 28, 2010 - by Jamie Wamsley
“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” - Fannie Lou Hamer
Technically, I was only sick for a little more than 24 hours.
A single, solitary day that seemed to last only a few moments shy of eternity.
It was both rapid and unrelenting – a little queasiness, a few painful stomach cramps – and then severe “venting”, as my medical friend calls it. (For the uninitiated, venting is the process by which your body expunges a virus – one way or the other)
A night of sleepless torment, a day without an ounce of energy – and now, finally, I seem to have straggled back on to the road to recovery.
I often forget how terrible it is to be sick. I see it as a great opportunity to catch up on reading or e-mail or even some mind-numbing daytime television.
In reality, however, when I am sick – I can do nothing.
Apart from the whining, moaning and whimpering, I can’t find the strength to do a single thing. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.
Strangely, there is a passage of Scripture that speaks to that condition.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15.5
These are the words of Jesus, spoken to his followers, referring to the kind of life we can choose to live.
Obviously, Jesus is not speaking about the flu or even of being sick in general – but rather, of how we can bring the light of His kingdom to bear in a dark world.
Jesus is saying that it is our connection to Him – a continuous interaction that allows His presence to both flow into and out of our lives – that enables us to have any kind of Kingdom impact.
Reading these words seems to always launch an intense little wrestling match inside of me.
Is that really true? Can I do nothing – literally, absolutely nothing – apart from Christ?
I mean, let’s state the obvious. I can brush my teeth or walk the dog or do a thousand different things independent of a vibrant, in-the-moment connection to God.
And I’ve found that I can do many “spiritual” things – like teach, study the Bible, pray, counsel – in moments where I am not strongly connected to Him either.
But the longer I live, the more I realize that the only thing I have of value to pass on to someone is the person of Jesus.
It is Jesus that transforms lives, it is His love that changes people. It is His forgiveness that brings peace and His purpose that gives meaning.
The truth is that I ‘bear the most fruit’ when I allow His presence to reign in me so strongly that other people encounter Him through their interaction with me.
It is for that reason that I can do nothing apart from Him.
Jesus, and Jesus alone, makes all the difference.
I wonder how I can catch a spiritual flu that helps me with that one?
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