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When the Patient Becomes the Doctor

Macy isn’t quite four and she is battling Leukemia. She spent a good part of July as a patient in the hospital. During one of my hospital visits, I watched in silent wonder as Macy played “doctor” with her stuffed animals and her mother. She was checking for fever, among other things.

As she played and tended lovingly to her “patients”, I was struck at how we’ve been called to do the same. Macy, because of her experience with caring doctors and nurses, became sympathetic as she cared for others. She had a better understanding of what and how to pass on kindness to others…to comfort the suffering.

I’ve often heard it said that God doesn’t take us through something just for our own good. Many times the messes in our lives become the message He wants us to use for others. Out of His goodness, faithfulness, and mercy toward us we begin to develop a ministry to others. It’s a pay it forward concept.

Sickness is hard to understand. Divorce and disappointment hurts. Brokenness and abuse seem so unnecessary. But as I watched Macy play the part of the doctor, I was reminded that though we walk through those things, there is a purpose. It’s our call to use such experiences to encourage others in their suffering, disappointment, and/or sickness.

In my own life I wouldn’t have asked for a journey through divorce. I’d been there as a child and, in no way, felt an urge to visit that brokenness as an adult. But that wasn’t how the story of my life would go. Instead, I would stumble and many times crawl through the heartache of divorce.

Honestly, I questioned why. But I did the same thing when I learned of Macy’s diagnosis. In the moments of walking through trials I don’t think that answer is clear. We’re not postured to hear or know why we must suffer or endure. However, I can say now that I know…without a doubt…what to do with my experiences.

We are to take our moments of being a “patient” and use those to care for others. So really, while we trust God to take care of ultimate healing, we can tend to the heart of others. If you’ve received compassion during a hard time…pass it on.

Don’t hold on to what you received as a patient. Give it away. Start today!

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:12-15

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