Day 7: Depletion
“Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me” (Luke 8:46). That’s what Jesus said when the sick woman fought through the crowd to touch the hem of his garment. In some way that we don’t fully understand, Jesus was conscious of God’s power flowing out from him into the body of the woman. Power that had been his passed from him to her. It resulted in her healing, but the power had to go out from him first.
There is a universal truth here. If you follow Jesus
and get involved with the needy people of this world, you will be
conscious of power flowing out from your life as well. By definition
those in need lack the strength necessary to face the challenges of
life. The only way they can get strength or power is from those who
have more than they do. Ministering to such people means that power or
strength or virtue will flow out from your life to theirs. It will cost
you something that you will not easily replace–the very strength of
your own life.
This explains something that many people have puzzled over. When Jesus was crucified, why did he die so quickly? The Romans assumed that when they crucified someone it would take 24-48 hours for that person to die. But Jesus died after only six hours on the cross. Sometimes we say (in a sentimental way), “He died of a broken heart.” There is at least this much truth in that statement. When he died, he was exhausted from giving himself for others.
If you follow Jesus, the same thing will happen to you. You will give and give and the power will go out from you. You can help people, but it will cost you something. Not just time, not just energy, not just money, but your very life. Strength will go out from you into the lives of the people you help. They will grow stronger; you will grow weaker. In the end, like Jesus, you too will be exhausted. You may not live as long as you would like. But when you die, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you lived your life for others and that the strength that has gone out from you has not been wasted on the trivial pursuits of this world.
Lord of Life, You gave everything you had for others. Let me not be afraid to follow your example. Amen.