Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting a church member in the hospital following a MAJOR surgery. He was able to speak for the first time in over 48 hours. He’d been through a lot and was still a bit out of it. I shared God’s Word of comfort and support. I prayed. I told him he didn’t need to talk because I knew it was hard for him. He didn’t say much, but he did one thing that was very powerful. As I asked him if he was doing okay, he gave me a very clear THUMBS UP sign. At first, I just took it as a way to say, “I’m okay.” Then, when I mentioned that we would watch out for his wife and support her, he gave me another clear THUMBS UP and held out his forefinger. I then sensed that his gesture was saying more than just, “Okay.” When I next commented about God’s ongoing care for him, his wife and those he loved, he gave a clear THUMBS UP that I couldn’t miss. Without saying a word, he had communicated a HUGE amount of understanding, faith and trust in God. What this dear man of faith was saying is that he fully believed the teaching of the THUMBS UP illustration of relationship priorities. JESUS was STILL FIRST in his life. He had absolute trust that Jesus would care for him, his wife and his loved ones. Jesus would work all things together for good. This man also expressed appreciation that I and others were taking care of the person he cared about above all others, his dear WIFE. He also was showing appreciation for the mutual care being given by and shown to his other FAMILY members and CHURCH FAMILY MEMBERS.
It was wonderful to see that God’s SIMPLE, POWERFUL, GOSPEL message could be confessed and shared when it was difficult to say a word. This man of faith had a way to speak to me with a simple gesture that spoke volumes between us. It showed that it pays to be in God’s Word regularly so it’s there for you when you really need it. It also showed the value of being part of a church family regularly so you understand each other even with a shared gesture. This kind of relationship flows out of walking together daily. It’s the kind of relationship that makes a huge difference when times get tough. It’s good to know that a simple THUMBS UP can give strength to the weak and assurance to a pastor that his sheep is in Good Hands!