Jesus is the standard for the Christian who wants to live a mature and healthy life. He set the standard really high for anyone who would follow him. I personally believe that it is impossible to live at that standard, but we can try. Than we have the apostles who were the men who first followed Jesus. In the end they all deserted him and went back to what they knew, which was to fish for a living. Matthew 26:56 then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. They could not meet the standard because without the Holy Spirit no one can even begin to try.
It is now going on twenty eight years since I first started to follow Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. In the beginning I was taught that everything would now be as joyful as a rose garden, it has been everything but that. As a matter of fact life as I knew it became even harder. God never changed the life, he just changed me and gave me the strength and energy to endure what was coming. He has also given me moments of unspeakable joy and happiness along with many healings and prosperity at a level that I could manage. But being human I always expected more and more, as the proverbs says "the eye is never satisfied with what it sees."
This morning as my eyes opened and I looked at a new day I started to complain to myself about how boring life really was and if there was really any reason to live another day. I started to wonder how other people started their day, were they tired, bored, sad, happy, or maybe even angry at being alive. I thought of several people I knew, and then I started thinking about Buddy Bell who I had met in 1988 during one of his prison ministry services in Douglasville, George. It was a meeting that would change the course of my life forever.
You see Buddy was totally paralyzed from his neck down and sat in a wheel chair all day long slumped over on his tiny rib cage. I wrote about Buddy in another article so I won't go into all the details of his sickness but he was in really bad shape. So I tried to imagine how Buddy would see the day, as he opened his eyes to begin a new morning? From what I knew of him I could imagine him reaching out to the Lord Jesus for strength to begin his day. He would see his wife who stayed by him and took care of him; he would also see his children who loved him and were as normal as you can be in this situation.
His eyes would see his arms which had lost all muscle mass and hung limp. But mostly he would feel the pain which he had to endure day in and day out for several decades. I would imagine that from the moment he opened his eyes he would smile and thank the Lord for giving him a new day. He was always smiling, so it would be easy to see him come awake and take on a new day as if it was the first day of his life or maybe the last, but always at peace with himself and with God. He really had an excuse to be bitter, angry and full of fury, but I never saw him that way. He was always very gracious and giving, even in his worst days I could see Jesus smiling back at me through Buddy's eyes.
He spent much of his time in a wheel chair which sometimes was hooked up to an oxygen tent so that would be one of the first things he saw at the beginning of a new day. He had to be lifted onto his wheel chair and endure huge amounts of pain as his body was preparing itself for the day. Next he would be helped to dress and to his credit I never saw him without a coat and tie. Later Someone would pick him and drive him around so he could go out and about doing what he loved most, which was to talk about Jesus and the love Jesus had shown him in this unless war with his sickness.
In Buddy I saw the first and only person who lived in this much pain and still talked about nothing but the love Jesus had for all people. I had many conversations with this man and at first I thought it was all an act because of the life he had been handed down. But in time I realized that this man had set the standard for Christianity in my life. He had set a new standard after the death of Jesus, which no man could reach. Though I have spent 28 years teaching on healing and the power of God, I have only managed to reach maybe 25 % of the standard which Buddy Bell had set with his life of total devotion to Jesus. I also wondered how many of today's movie star preachers could walk as Buddy walked and talked as Buddy talked. Not one would qualify I am sure.
Without Buddy Bell I would not be the Christian that I am today. God had to use this man to break my heart which was so hard and rebellious that it would not listen to any other person. In fact when God tried to talk to me I would shut him out and tell him I was not interested in the bible or God himself. Only by seeing this servant of God carry his cross day by day did I understand the value of knowing Jesus for myself. After dwelling on this for a few hours I realized just how bless I have always been. The day didn't seem all that bad after all.
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