Devotion: When You Feel Like Your Illness Has Placed Your Life In “The Wrong Place”
Posted Mar 03 2012 10:00am
“But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you–certainly I, Paul, did, again and again–but Satan stopped us. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” (1 Thess. 2:17-19)
The other day I had a strong urge to go to the zoo. I haven’t been for a while and I also hadn’t been “out” for a while, other than to work or the supermarket. So I listened to my urging and set out on my journey. I love animals and enjoy watching them be themselves–playing, fighting, squawking, bellowing, and tweeting.
A trip to the zoo usually means being enthralled by the wild animals, especially those that do not usually grace our shores. My trip definitely gave me some thrilling, enthralling sights; after a while I became tired and decided to sit and watch the chimpanzees. I sat down on the bench provided in front of their enclosure; a large grass area filled with trees and man-made climbing structures, framed by a viewing window larger than any in my house.
I watched and I waited for an opportunity to get a nice photograph. I sat; they sat. It was a hot day and neither of us, it seemed, wanted to move from the cool shade. The only movement from me was my thoughts that began tumbling around my brain. It must be hard for these animals to be here in this place; when they could be living in their natural habitat.
It was then that a succession of impressions began to hit me. These animals are in the wrong place! They seem happy, even content, but surely they must have some understanding of or deep inner knowing that this is not “normal.” They have adapted and are coping right where they are; living normal animal lives in the confines they find themselves in.
Their presence brings enjoyment and hope to many; hope for a future for their species (thanks in part to the breeding programs run by zoos like this one); enjoyment for visitors like me being able to see (in the flesh) these magnificent creatures. They may be in the wrong place but their life has meaning and purpose.
Our illness may make us feel as though we are in the wrong place; but never let it make you feel you do not have significance in the scheme of things. Remember what Paul said when he was in chains (the wrong place?) “Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” (Philippians 1:18b-19)
Whatever happens to you, me, or the chimpanzee, God is at work.
Prayer: Lord, help me to rest in your goodness and to know that no matter where I am you can and will be glorified when I am obedient and trusting, Amen.
About the author
Julie Munro lives in New Zealand, her walk with the Lord has been over mountains and through valleys but He has remained her constant support and her ever loving Father.