How many times has someone said to you, "You don't look sick. You look great!"?
How often have you been asked to accept a position at your church, your children's school or your place of employment when you knew you were physically unable to?
Many times we accept these added responsibilities because the guilt we feel in not doing so seems worse than the pain and disability itself.
Pain isn't always visible. More often than not it's hidden, known and experienced only to the one who is suffering and to our heavenly Father.
Once a caring pastor said to me, "If God calls you to do something, He will equip you. He will not lead you out a limb and leave you hanging there."
I love the story of Jesus being anointed by the woman as recorded in Mark 14:8. "She did what she could." Jesus knew her, He knew her circumstances, He knew the desires of her heart. He defended her against her accusers.
How many of us would love to teach Sunday School again as we did years ago before we became ill or infirmed? What would we give to stand in the choir and sing songs of praise and worship to the Saviour of our souls? Who among us desires above all else to be more mobile again to visit the sick and elderly and attend to the pressing needs of our families?
Our loving Saviour knows all about us. He still gives us the most important ministry of all - a prayer life, that wonderful privilege to be an Aaron to hold up the arms of Moses; in a more modern vernacular, "to be the wind beneath his wings."
God, our understanding Father, knows we didn't choose to be bedridden or paralyzed or slowed down with age with pain or lingering illness.
He looks at us with compassion and defends us with the tender words of Jesus, "She did what she could."