Writing is cheap therapy. Writing soothes me, calms me, helps me organize my thoughts and ideas.
Writing is also torture. The joints in my hands are covered in hard nodules from rheumatoid arthritis. These same nodules cover the vertebrae of my spine. Sitting for a long period of time hurts as bad as standing for a long period of time.
Yet, I write on -- write to tell the world about Jesus and His mercies which are new every morning. Blogging -- writing on a website which is self-published -- is an activity that is done world-wide by millions of people. The blogging community is tight, sweet, competitive, and understanding. There's also money to made in it if one is patient enough and work hard.
Blogging with a chronic illness presents its own set of variables in a variable-rich world. Sometimes -- many times -- it's just not going to happen that day. On those days, when a migraine strikes or I'm knee-deep in a RA flare, or my hypoglycemia goes on a sudden roller-coaster of highs and lows, blogging is the least of my concerns. I do good to get out of bed on those days and get my daughter ready for school. I do good to help my paraplegic husband dress and drive to work. On days like that, I take my meds and curl up on the couch and watch comforting TV shows of my choosing (that's a blessing in itself) or read my Bible. Blogging with a chronic illness means you have to pace yourself and listen to your body.
Blogging with a chronic illness is a sacrifice one makes to bless others through writing. A blogger pours herself (or himself) out to write, to inform, to bless.
The Old Testament tells us more about being poured out. "The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'After you enter the land I am giving you as a home and you present to the LORD offerings made by fire, from the herd or the flock, as an aroma pleasing to the LORD -- whether burnt offerings or sacrifices, for special vows or freewill offerings or festival offerings -- then the one who brings his offering shall present to the LORD a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil. With each lamb for the burnt offering or the sacrifice, prepare a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering." [Numbers 15:1-5]
In Old Testament times, the drink offering was always poured out onto the altar as a sacrifice to God in addition to the sacrificed animals and grain offerings. The drink offering was always a quarter of a hin of wine, presented to God “as an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” This was not to be drank by the priests, but to be poured out, as God’s drink with the sacrifice.
Sacrifices of animals, grain and wine – the essential building blocks of a Hebrew diet – remind us that everything is God’s. He blesses us with meat, vegetables, and the water we drink. He provides the skills, education and where-with-all to earn money, to provide for our families. All belongs to Him.
Even our very lives belong to Him. We are not our own. In addition to time, talents and treasure, we are to pour out our very lives, die to ourselves, and give God all of us. This act of giving God our very beings and living for Christ – no matter the cost – is also an aroma pleasing to God.
As we live our lives for Him, He blesses us in ways we cannot begin to imagine. It may not be with material possessions, or money, but it will be with things so much more priceless: the peace that passes all understanding, the joy of our salvation, the knowledge that we are close to Him. Being called “a child of the King” is blessing enough. Knowing Christ intercedes for my behalf and knows me by name, is blessing enough.
Living our lives, poured out as a drink offering, means giving God all of us. Paul wrote from prison, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” [2nd Timothy 4:6-7]. Paul suffered much as an apostle: floggings, imprisonment, stonings, betrayal. Through all these persecutions, he lived his life poured out for God. He recognized his time to be with the Lord was so near he could taste it. He was willing to give all, to be poured out as a drink offering, as an aroma pleasing to the Lord, for Christ.
Christ did the same for us. “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” [John 19:34]. Jesus poured out Himself, to save us from sin. How much more should we give our whole lives to Him, not just a tenth?
Blogging with a chronic illness hurts. But I know, thanks to technological reports on the blogging software I use and through Google Analytics, that my little blog is being used to encourage people all over the world -- in the United States, in Zambia, Africa, in Russia and in China. It's being read in Singapore and in the United Kingdom, as well as New Zealand. I love that God is using my words to encourage others in His Name.
I love what Habakkuk wrote: "Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it," [2:2]. I pray that the pain I feel in my hands and back as I sit and write for the glory of God is not in vain, but is an encouragement to those who read my blog and come to know Jesus better and deeper.
(c) 2016 Terrie McKee
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