He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30
Anyone suffering with a disability or a chronic illness can tell you that one of the hardest struggles in the journey is feeling diminished. I am no different. I feel diminished as a wife and mother, as I am no longer able to care for my home and family. I feel diminished because I am no longer able to work outside the home. I feel diminished because whether I am trapped at home because of frequent illness and pain, or trapped in a wheelchair, I am often invisible. I feel diminished because so many people who do talk to me will never see me as a vibrant person with something to contribute. I have had to relinquish or restructure many of the dreams, plans, and goals that I held for myself, my family, and my future. Although sometimes I am still frustrated by these circumstances, studying this verse has helped me so much.
The first thing that struck me about this verse is that it comes directly from the lips of John the Baptist, regarding Jesus. Doesn’t that put me in great company? John immediately recognized that the role he had been playing was now changed. He inherently understood that Jesus was the one who was the star of the show.
The next pearl in this verse is that John’s pride did not play a role! Hasn’t my pride had not just a “bit part”, but the starring role with all the best lines? Shame on me! John understood his new role; me, not so much. But am I willing to learn?
So, we’ve established that I’m no John the Baptist. And Jesus no longer walks the earth as a man. Does that make this verse any less applicable to my life and my situation? I don’t think so. When I begin to view my diminished state as something to be embraced, rather than disdained, I am able to start learning my new role. I’m learning my lines, trying to hit my marks, developing a new rapport with my fellow cast members. And all the while, I’m doing my best to look to the Director for guidance. He is the only one who can teach me how to showcase Christ in this present condition. I am NOT diminished to God. I merely have to remember who really has the starring role.
Heavenly Father, please help me to feature Christ in my life instead of my own pride. Thank you for never seeing me as diminished, despite my circumstances. Thank you for always being able to use me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.....
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