Somebody's Watching

  • Dec. 10, 2015
  • #8769

Persevering in faith during trials and challenges reveals God’s greatness to spiritual beings in the heavenly realms.

I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and be encouraged: somebody is watching!

Last week I received a letter from Sherry, a middle-aged woman with multiple sclerosis who lives in a nursing home. Sherry has had it hard since her husband left her with the children. And being in that nursing home, she really struggles with loneliness. And this is what Sherry wrote, she said, "Joni, God has taken me out of the battle. I may be a Christian, but I don't have a real ministry anymore. There’s really no one I can talk to about Jesus. I just don’t think my life counts for anything." Wow! Doesn’t your heart go out to her? And I think of her whenever I visit people who languish in nursing homes. Many are women who, because of a debilitating injury, find themselves without a husband and their children gone. They think: “My life in God doesn't mean a thing. Nobody notices me. Nobody cares.”

But that’s just not true. A great many "somebodies" are observing and gaining from the examples of persevering Christians. I'm not talking about nurses or volunteers who stop by with a juice cart or medication. I'm not talking about occasional visitors or the nursing home chaplain. I'm talking about God and the entire spiritual world of angels and demons. Proof of that is in Ephesians chapter 3, verse 10 where it says, "[God‘s] intent is that now, through the church, His manifold wisdom should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms." You see, Sherry’s life, and your life and mine, is like a blackboard upon which God chalks amazing lessons about Himself; lessons to teach the rulers and authorities and the heavenly realms about who He is and how great His power is to sustain. Angels fold their wings when they observe Sherry persevere and hang onto her smile in the hallways of that nursing home – it teaches those angels how great God must be to inspire Sherry’s loyalty to Him, despite all her difficulties. And demons shudder when they observe how the grace of God sustains Sherry day-by-day; it teaches them that God really does care about the weak.

Now, I know this probably sounds like it is out of left field, but honestly, spiritual beings, whether angels or demons, are intensely interested in our response to suffering. They stand on tiptoe to see how you and I will respond. Look at Luke chapter 15, verse 10 where it says, "There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Oh my goodness, if angels rejoice over that, you know they jump up and down with excitement when a suffering Christian hangs on to God despite loneliness or pain. And in the same way if angels rejoice, demons are put to shame. So yes, Sherry’s life and your life and mine are all a wonderful blackboard on which God chalks lessons about Himself. God uses the life examples of His children to teach angels and demons about how wise and powerful He really is.

When a young mother in her wheelchair perseveres through loneliness, when an elderly widow keeps leaning on Christ, when Christians in dark corners of the world hold on to God's grace, the entire spiritual world stands on tiptoe, wondering: “How great their God must be to inspire such loyalty!” So, if you're alone, thinking no one cares, don't give up the battle. Remember, somebody is watching, and somebody cares. And you might even hear the rustling of their wings.

© Joni and Friends

 

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