Andy loved to talk about Jesus and asked tons of questions about Him, probably more than most children do. Then at 5 years old he was stricken with encephalitis and was disabled for life. He couldn’t walk, talk, or hear, but his parents could still sometimes understand him through his eyes or motions. Whenever he saw a picture of Jesus or was taken to church, his countenance brightened. “Jesus” was a name he could write other than his parents’ names. His favorite cap read “Jesus Is My Boss.”
I have never met Andy, but my sister knew him and recently went to his funeral. He was 43. Throughout his life he had breathing problems and endured lots of surgeries. After one particular surgery, his mom stood on edge as she waited for him to breathe on his own again. He did breathe again, and his mom turned to the window and cried. She prayed, “O God, I can’t take this anymore.” When she turned back around, Andy held his hands up and formed a cross. She said, “Yes, Andy, I know you are telling me Jesus is with us.”
The day I first heard of Andy, I was unable to do much and was beating myself up for not getting much done. I was so impacted by his story. Here was a man with all these disabilities and yet he still shined for Jesus.
He had a relationship with Jesus, and that’s what counts. If we are close to Jesus, no matter what situation we are in life, we will naturally impact others around us. Many people could see there was something in his countenance that was different. I think he probably had a deeper relationship with Jesus than many.
Too often I worry I’m not “doing” enough with just writing these posts and trying to encourage others. I get caught up in the insecure, condemning voices Satan just loves to throw at me. Or I compare myself to others who can write a post every day and yet always have something new to write. Those who always have the right words to say in comments. And that sign pops up in my brain again – “Not enough!” I too easily forget to “just be” who God intended me to be in whichever situation He plants me with whatever He gives me.
I also get it all wrong when I think how much I “do” for others will determine how much God will love me. But I have it all mixed up. His love is unconditional. His grace is free. Not one good thing we do is going to buy us more of it. It’s already there in full measure for us to receive with an open heart. All we have to “do” is believe in Jesus who loves us so much that He has bought grace for us with His own blood.
“For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith—and this is not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God—
not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Jesus wants us to have a personal relationship. To rest in His grace. To listen to where He leads us. Without Him we are empty vessels. Without His living waters, we cannot pour out His love to others.
If all my energy is directed to wanting to be more like others or trying to gain approval of others, what energy do I have left for nurturing my relationship with Jesus? If I let others, including Satan and myself, affect my thoughts and actions, I separate myself from nourishment in Christ Jesus. If I don’t plant myself next to the Living Waters, I will bear no fruit and will wither away.
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on His law [His precepts and teachings]
he [habitually] meditates day and night.
And he will be like a tree firmly planted
[and fed] by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season;
Its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers
[and comes to maturity].”
Psalm 1:2-3 AMP
Andy was not busy “doing.” He was “being” who God wanted him to be. He was planted in Jesus, so he naturally reflected Jesus and His love. That’s what we need. It’s not about doing, it’s about being who we are in Christ and letting His love shine in us, spilling out towards others.
“As all of us reflect the glory
of the Lord with unveiled faces,
we are becoming more like Him with
ever-increasing glory by the Lord’s Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
“Do They See Jesus In Me?”
by Joy Williams
“Do they see Jesus in me
Do they recognize Your face
Do I communicate Your love
And Your grace
Do I reflect who You are
In the way I choose to be
Do they see Jesus, Jesus in me?”
Dearest Lord Jesus, please help us
to deepen our relationship with You.
Please make us shining lights for You.
Linking up with:
Holley – Coffee For Your Heart
Jennifer – Tell His Story
Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith
Barbie – Weekend Whispers
22 thoughts on “Reflecting Jesus and His Love”
You are definitely doing enough, my friend. I get so much from your encouragement here, Trudy. But you are so right, it’s more about being than doing. I have no doubt you are being exactly who God wants you to be as well. Thank you for sharing Andy’s incredibly inspirational story! I’m sorry to hear about his recent death, but we know he is exactly where he wants to be, miraculously healed and hanging out with Jesus :).
Thank you for your kind and caring support, Candace. I am so grateful you get encouragement here. That Andy is “miraculously healed and hanging out with Jesus” is such an awesome thought. Thank you. Some day we will be there, too, my friend. What we suffer here can never be compared to what glory awaits us. Such a comforting thought, isn’t it? Praying God will fill you with His power and grace each day! Hugs!
Thank you for this, Trudy! May I forget about the labels placed on me for non-performance and be firmly entrenched in my identity as His child.
You’re welcome, Sita. Amen. I, too, need to forget those labels and remember my identity in Christ. I so easily forget, but I’m grateful Jesus’ love is unconditional and He will never leave us or abandon us. Yes! You are His own precious child and He will keep you in His grip. Praying God will fill you with His love and grace and show you more and more who you are in Him! Hugs!
“It’s not about doing, it’s about being who we are in Christ and letting His love shine in us, spilling out towards others.” Yes! You are a blessing Trudy! I am so very thankful for you and the words you share from your heart. Love this reminder to “be” not “do”!
Thank you, Michelle. Your kind words bless me. I’m so grateful you were encouraged. We can so easily get trapped in the “doing” rather than resting in Christ and just “being,” can’t we? I love your video. You go, girl, in the name of Jesus who is healing you! I’m so happy you are breaking free to fly and God is using you both in writing and in speaking openly and honestly. Praying God will continue to guide, comfort, and strengthen you! Hugs!
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Thank you for sharing Andy’s story and for this truth: “Not one good thing we do is going to buy us more of it. It’s already there in full measure for us to receive with an open heart. All we have to “do” is believe in Jesus who loves us so much that He has bought grace for us with His own blood.”
Yes…So grateful for His grace then and every day….blessings to you, dear one 🙂
Hi Dolly. Yes, all free grace, not through works. I am so grateful for His grace, too. Oh, how desolate we are without it! Praying God will bless you, too, and give you wisdom, guidance, and strength in Him as you continue with seminary and in your daily life! Hugs!
Hi Trudy! I was thinking about your point, and how busyness about ‘stuff’ doesn’t get us closer to God, or to really reflecting Him. Have you ever seen a sight like the image you put up here? Its the stillness of the water that creates such a true reflection of the trees.
I think it’s the same in our spiritual lives.
PS I do think you reflect the faith and love you have for God here!!
Wow, Ceil! I never thought of that before that it’s the stillness of the water that creates a true reflection. Thank you for sharing this wise insight. It’s when we rest quietly in Jesus and listen to His voice that we can best reflect Him. You have blessed me today. 🙂 May God fill you with His peace and strength! Hugs!
Thank you for sharing Andy’s story, and yours. Beautiful.
You’re welcome and thank you, Michelle. I love your “Soaring Turtle” post. Yes, may we soar together. 🙂 May God kick out the enemy that prevents us from pursuing our callings! Hugs!
I just want to remind you that writing a blog and faithfully posting is no small feat! Consider how many blogs are started and given up on because the writers find how difficult writing content on a continuing schedule is. You are active on Twitter — every blogger isn’t! You capture links around the web to share a round-up of your favorite encouragement for your readers! I’m not sure how many others are using the talents God gave them like you are! You are faithful to what he’s given you! (Okay – -my little sermonette is done — haha!) xo
Wow, Valerie, you’re such a beautiful cheerleader. 🙂 God knew I needed a down-to-earth pep talk. Thank you for reminding me of these things. I tend to forget them and I too easily compare myself to others and think I offer nothing. So thank you again, dear friend. You build me up with hope, not only in your comments, but at your blog. You reflect Jesus and His love for us. I smile at your last remark about your “little sermonette.” I so need your sense of humor. 🙂 Praying Jesus will take you by the hand and lead you ever deeper into His love! Hugs!
“If we are close to Jesus, no matter what situation we are in life, we will naturally impact others around us” – if this isn’t huge incentive to want to draw closer to Jesus, then what is? Our lives are meant to mirror Him, imperfectly yet in a way that says Jesus lives within. We will achieve it better when we spend more time in His company and reading His word, letting His character be formed in us.
Trudy, my friend, you have no worries on that score. What you have here is a ministry of real encouragement as others have testified beautifully to above. You reveal Jesus to us with your tender compassion for hurting souls, your kindness and sensitivity, open warmth and honesty.
I was challenged too as I hoped those who read my blog might be similarly helped as I am here. And while I am comfortable enough with ‘being’ these days instead of ‘doing’ a great deal, I still struggle to see how all my life might reflect Jesus. Especially because my home isn’t a true refection of me (apart from being small, messy, broken in places, threadbare and worn, lol..) but I hope that those who enter it will see beyond the lack of Pinterest perfection and somehow meet with Jesus there. Thank you for always providing a lot of good food for thought! Blessings and love. Xox ❤
Aren’t we a pair? My eyes widened as I read this – “I hoped those who read my blog might be similarly helped as I am here.” I have the same feelings concerning your blog. I guess we shouldn’t compare, huh? I struggle, too, with how all my life might reflect Jesus. May we both continue to lean into Jesus and learn at His feet as we travel this journey as kindred spirits! Thank you, Joy, for always encouraging and supporting me. I appreciate it so much. I hope you aren’t too worn out from your company this weekend. I don’t think they cared about what your house looked like, but I feel sure they did see Jesus’ love shine from you. 🙂 Praying God will give you rest and peace in every way! Hugs!
Yes, Trudy, yes! Let’s hear it for being, not doing. Let’s write when we have something to say and not because someone told us we should. And let’s hear it for that rest and grace you wrote about … all so we’ll be in the place where people can truly see Christ in us.
So very good to meet you today …
Amen, Linda! It sounds like we’re on the same page. 🙂 It’s good to meet you, too. I just recently found your blog, and I’m so glad I did. Praying we will together rest in the precious grace of Christ Jesus and follow Him with all our hearts! Hugs!
Trudy, you are doing enough indeed! You shared this amazing story and now we can pass it on and change ourselves for His kingdom. I’m blessed to know you.
Thank you, Carrie. I’m blessed to know you,too. I’m so glad God led me to your site. 🙂 May we together reflect Jesus and His love! Hugs!
Thanks for sharing the story about Andy and for reminding us that it’s more important to be than to do.
your neighbor at Tell His Story
You’re welcome, Constance. I’m so glad you stopped in. 🙂 It’s hard sometimes to remember we just have to “be” who we are in Christ Jesus instead of getting wrapped up in how much we should “do,” isn’t it? Praying Jesus will hold you close and give you strength and guidance for each day! Hugs!
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