Everybody knows that I have had health problems since my 1995 heart attack and surgery. I tell folks that I died when I was 48… my new life has been much different with the onset of the affects of Agent Orange of Vietnam. Now I have stage 4 liver disease, stage 4 kidney disease, Diabetes, low iron, congestive heart failure, a pacemaker and defibrillator… and Lord knows what else.
I confess there are days when my weakness and shortness of breath seems to suffocate my passion for living. There are dark nights when I plan my funeral. Sometimes I wonder why I am still here. What is the purpose God now has for me?
I look at my hands which once were strong and sure, full of endurance, now they are unsteady, stay cold and swollen. My mind, once quick and incisive, now falters under the weight of trying to remember names and faces and places. What real purpose do I serve following the doctor’s orders to keep my feet elevated, surfing channels on a television that has hardly anything worth watching, dozing many afternoons. I seem like such a wet blanket to my family – not able to do that which requires much walking.
But then, just when I feel all wet, God’s Spirit stirs my heart and touches my soul. Even though my earthly days are a mystery to me, I know one thing for sure… God created me with an eternal purpose… to be more like Jesus each and every day… to touch another’s life with kindness and grace.
My prayer is for the Lord to give me an extra measure of grace when I feel that I am too old or too slow to be useful. Help me take my limitations as opportunities to serve you in some way. My purpose is not withered away with another birthday… my purpose is rooted in eternity. Amen.