We need to respond to all God is with all we are, this day and every day. No matter what you face, God is greater.
Today I would love to share one of our Central "life change" stories. For years, Kathie sat in the back row of Central. She would slip in and out, quietly and anonymously, while the lights were low so that no one could see what she looked like. For 14 years, she suffered with an undiagnosed illness that left her looking sickly and speckled. She says, “I felt like a modern day leper. I didn’t want people to know how sick I was because I had been to churches in the past where it was not ‘acceptable’ to be both a Christian and sick. Well-meaning people used scriptures about healing and scriptures about discipline to help ‘deliver’ me. I examined myself—dissecting every hidden sin to try to repent of anything that was possibly causing God to ‘strike me’ with illness. It was all very confusing.”
Then God brought Kathie and her husband to Central, and for the first time in their lives they heard that it’s okay to be not okay—even when we’re sick. One weekend they heard me share a story about a friend struggling with MS. People had actually told this person the reason she wasn’t healed was that she didn’t have enough faith. Well, that made me mad! I told her I didn’t believe that for a second, and that the people who said it are dead wrong. I said, “My friend has more faith than me, because she has to face every day in a sick body.”
When the story was done, people clapped because they felt the same way, but way in the back, in the dark, Kathie felt something far more powerful: freedom. That day she heard what the God of the universe wanted her to hear: You may not feel worthy, but I am worthy and I love you as you are. Tears ran down her face as God set her heart free from years of torment. It opened her up to a life of worship.
“We continued attending Central…and for two of those years I was bedridden. Central was the ONLY thing I looked forward to all week. Eventually I was properly diagnosed and began a slow and painful journey of healing. Today I am healed, with some moderate physical affects, and I have stepped up to serve at Central to give back a small portion of the grace I received. I am so thankful for the people who made church happen week after week for me. Serving is the least I can do for others now.”
And you know what’s amazing? After spending a few years as an unpaid ministry partner, Kathie is now on staff at our Summerlin campus, serving God full time and giving her all for the One who sits on the Throne.
We need to respond to all God is with all we are, this day and every day. No matter what you face, no matter how you feel, God is greater.