I’m so glad to feature fellow Redbud, Dorothy Greco, sharing reflections on thanking God in light of our frailties.
When our youngest turned one, a virus took up residence in my body and refused to be evicted. After two months, it morphed. I suddenly needed to sleep for ten, twelve, sometimes even fourteen hours a day. Unrelenting, debilitating pain became my new normal. After two years of scans, scopes, and visits with specialists, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. One year later, celiac disease was added to that list.
The chronic health issues have impacted every aspect of life: my work as a photographer, my parenting, our marital intimacy, my sleep (or lack thereof), traveling, eating out, etc. That’s a lot of loss. Though I continue to ask God to remove this thorn from my flesh, I am now thankful for this broken body.
One thing evident to me as I lead and minister is this, “Actions speak louder than words.” As a young leader, I have been drawn to the wise counsel the Apostle Paul provided to his protégé Timothy. Paul wrote to Timothy about the qualifications of leadership, the importance of having a good reputation, living with integrity, and training “yourself to be godly (1 Tim. 4:7b).”
Paul provides important leadership lessons to Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:13-16. These lessons apply to all “Do the Right Thing Leaders.” Paul basically teaches Timothy to, “Remain focused on the things I have taught and modeled for you. Uplift God’s Word, proclaim the good news through preaching and teaching. Hone your spiritual gifts. Do all of this because people are watching. Since people are watching you, be careful to watch your life and doctrine closely. When you are a faithful leader in this way, you not only grow in maturity yourself, but you also influence those who are watching to see your progress.”
This is the reality, as Christians and leaders, people are always watching. We should therefore constantly challenge ourselves about the messages we send into the world. Do our words, beliefs, and actions display the same symbol, heart, and ministry of Jesus Christ? This week, I have already shared Jesus’ John 17:20-23 prayer for unity, and how that unity when properly displayed is a symbol to the rest of the world that Jesus was sent to change us and to change the world.