This Lenten season our church – Immanuel Lutheran Church – developed a devotional booklet where different members of the congregation wrote their individual reflections on John 1:43-51. Here is the devotional we wrote that appears for today, March 12. How convenient that this appears during National MS Awareness Week, March 12-18.
We share Nathaniel’s uncertainty when he questions, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” When we both were diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it was hard to believe anything good could ever come out of having a chronic illness.
Obviously, neither of us had a choice in whether we got this disease, but certainly we had a choice in whether or not to marry someone living with MS.
It’s like we each then served as Philip for the other and said, “Come and see.”
Through living with and sharing this disease, we see and follow Jesus every day. It has provided us the ability to see his light in the world and, in turn, to serve as a light for others.
We see Jesus when Jennifer is on CMU’s campus and a student pushes the automatic door button in anticipation of her entering the building. We see him when a neighbor snow blows the driveway so Dan doesn’t need to shovel it.
I see Jesus every time Dan ties my shoes. Puts my hair up in a pony tail. Helps me get out of my chair. And Jesus is there every time Jennifer sets out dishes and makes our dinner. Rubs my hands after a long day of typing at work. Picks up fun treats just for me when she’s at the grocery store.
We see him when a member of our church offers to share his generator should we ever lose electricity and need to warm our house or charge Jennifer’s chair. And Jesus is there when Jennifer’s caregivers provide us assistance beyond their scheduled shifts.
All of these blessings give us the ability to share our stories and be a light for others.
When we lead a support group to help people with MS, make dinner for a neighbor who just got out of the hospital, and continue living a positive life in spite of the day-to-day challenges we face.
Jesus is always around us. Sometimes we just need to take the time to pause and look in everything. Even in things that appear scary, isolating or difficult at first glance.
Where is Jesus? Come and see.