By Rhoda Barnhart
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40.
“Ouch! How can it hurt so much?” I thought; I was merely getting out of the guest room bed. My lower back was so painful I could not find any way to move without it hurting. When occasional minor back pains got worse I thought maybe I needed a different mattress. Obviously that wasn’t the answer—at least not this one. Before the day was over I had my diagnosis. After an x-ray, I was told “You have a lot of arthritis in your lower back.”
Now I knew what I was dealing with. Arthritis in my hands was severe at one time, but now it isn’t often painful. I asked my doctor if she thought physical therapy would help in this case. We both thought it was worth a try, and she wrote a prescription. Since I participate in Senior Exercises at the local physical therapy facility, I knew who to ask. Corey assessed my situation and proceeded to teach me exercises to try. After 2 or 3 appointments, I had 5 exercises that I continue to do faithfully every morning.
“Exercises?–too much of a bother” was a response when I suggested it to a friend having back pain. What could be easier and cheaper than to spend 15 minutes exercising on my bed to start the day? It has kept my back pain at bay for over 2 years now—with no need for Tylenol.
Jesus healed folks “on the spot.” Though he doesn’t walk the earth these days, He has provided options for the pain and struggles we experience in our lives. I have said many a prayer of gratitude for the doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and caregivers that have kept me going. I think of them as being the hands and feet of Jesus in their chosen profession. However, it doesn’t take a diploma for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our daily lives. Seeing a need, and finding a way to address it was demonstrated recently by a friend of mine. Upon learning of one child’s hunger she teamed with others to supplement not one, but a dozen children’s’ diets.
Scripture reminds us that there are many ways to serve the Lord. Acts 20:35, Paul: “I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
“Come, you who are blessed by my father; take your inheritance,…For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:34-40
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us see, and act on the opportunities around us where we can be the hands and feet of Jesus. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.