By: Don Lindsey.
A couple of months back, my brother in law gave me a t-shirt that read “be the moon.” On the back of the shirt, it read “reflect the Son.” This shirt has rapidly become one of my favorite items of clothing that I have. While I love the message that the shirt has, I am finding that I have had a hard time this week applying that mindset to my daily outlook.
I won’t go into to all the gory details of my week; this column isn’t a complaint fest for me to air out all of my grievances with cancer. However, I will say it’s been one of the worst physical and mental periods of time that I can remember ever facing. My point in mentioning that is with as bad as this week has been, I could have used my connection with God and I can’t seem to get out of my way long enough to genuinely lean on that connection. I can tell you from experience that when I have hit rough patches over the many years that I’ve fought this disease, it’s been more than comforting to turn to the Lord and know that He is watching over me. I certainly do not believe that I would have made it as long as I have without Him.
It's not the first time that I have been in this situation. Over the last decade and a half, I have found myself in this mindset more than I can remember and every time my inability to feel God’s presence in my life has been my fault. There is always some obstacle that I put in the way, that prevents me from feeling the love that our Father has for us and this week, that obstacle has been anger and frustration. Treatments are not really working, more options are being explored and while I know I should take these concerns to God in prayer, the feelings of anger and frustration that I just mentioned are keeping me from really leaning into the Lord, and so when I do pray, I do not feel the spiritual connection that I so desperately need right now. Why is that? Well, that’s a question that I’ve asked myself a lot this week and last night as I was fighting through an extremely tough bout of sickness it was my wife who showed me the answer to that question.
The life of a caregiver is a tough one. My good friend and fellow columnist Charles Towne talks about this a lot and has even written a book that will hopefully be published soon about the topic. I do not like thinking of myself as someone who has a caregiver, but I understand the importance of the position, and without my wife taking care of me when I’m sick, my battle may have been over long ago. Last night was an example of this. As I struggled with intense pain and stomach upset, she was right with me every step of the way, and when I was at my very worst, she held on to me and prayed. Now, I’ve been trying this prayer thing all week, but my negative outlook kept me from receiving the comfort I have been looking for. However, as soon as she started reaching out to God, I felt it. Instead of being grateful for this, I couldn’t understand it. “I’ve been praying all week and nothing! She prays for 30 seconds, and suddenly I feel the Lord’s presence again, why?!?” I thought to myself. It didn’t take me long to answer my own question. I was praying from a place of anger and desperation; she was praying from a place of love. She was reflecting the compassion that Jesus showed us all, and when we do that, He will rush to our side.
I’m not saying that all my worries and negative feelings went away just like that, but in that moment of prayer, she brought me back to the Lord and little by little, the frustrations are subsiding. What I’m starting to understand is that while I’ve been crying out to God all week, the comfort I was looking for was right here the entire time. He sent me an angel a few years back when my wife and I got together, and she helps God keep my crazy posterior from drifting away spiritually. It’s very similar in my opinion to why the Lord allowed us to walk with His only Son. People needed a constant source of love and the reminder that our creator loves us on a level that we will never completely understand while we’re on this earth. Jesus may not be on this planet with us anymore (for now), but His example shines through in those people that we often take for granted.
As I’ve stated in past columns, I try to stay away from faith-based conversations when writing but the experiences from this week have me feeling compelled to share what I’ve learned about prayer and the importance of God’s angels. We all have one in our life even though we don’t always recognize it. These are the people who just seem to know when we’re in a bad way and are there or seem to provide encouragement, love, and comfort when we need it the most. They are very moon like in the fact that they reflect light when we are going through the darkness. My goal this week will be to continue to fight through my obstacles and hopefully be the moon to folks that need the light of the Son. God bless.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.