Suffer

Praise when all is not well

Since the end of August I’ve had several health problems.  The two most major ones were being diagnosed with an irregular heart beat and a herniated disk in the last two months. As a result I’ve turned down a nomination to be an Elder in my church, a position that I desired. It’s a new chapter in my life. But I’m not down and out; I’m in a period of reflection drawing closer to God and gaining a better perspective on life and my life specifically.

When I was in the most pain from a sciatic nerve I found myself drawing closer to God.  I know these problems were not created by God but by mankind.  I live in a corrupted world.  But God promises to go through everything with me.

My focus has changed.  Before it was like not hearing the birds singing when I always have a radio on.  But now when I’m doing my daily devotion or going to sleep my mind has turned to God who gives me solace.  The words of scripture encourage me even more.  Not only because I’m less distracted, but also because I recognize that God may have set out a new direction in my life.

(1 John 5:14 NIV): says “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us”. Only praying for healing, especially as I get older, is not necessarily in God’s will since I’m mortal.  Always my prayer is that I’m relevant, that I fulfill a role in God’s redemptive plan while on this earth.

The peace I receive from the Holy Spirit and the assurance not only of a better place but Heavenly rewards sustains me.  But as I get better from the sciatic pain I see the distractions creep in.  I remember reading a story about a group of Christians in North Korea being jailed for their faith.  A year after they were released some of them were reunited and expressed a longing for the close fellowship they had with each other and with God while they were in prison.

In the Gospel song “He Calms the Storm” is the lyric “Sometimes He calms the storm – sometimes He calms me”.  I should rejoice either way.  God knows what follows.  As long as I seek to be in His will, I can trust that my situation (which I’d just as soon avoid) will serve a larger purpose in His plan.  And I’ll admit some situations seem impossible to be of any good anyway you look at them.  But God has a broader vision than I do.  I do know complaining and blaming God only weakens my testimony to others.  My walk alone through times of trouble can be a witness, especially when I’m willing to put words with my actions and still praise God.  

Two persons that exhibited this attitude to me were George and Herman.  George rarely attended church and was a male chauvinist even to his daughter who was his caretaker.  Herman was a greeter at our church who never smiled or talked about his faith.  George became terminally ill and very sick.  But then he started witnessing to everyone who visited him at his apartment.  Near the end of his life he told his daughter that he loved her.  

I’ve also heard testimony from 3 different people who I met just once, tell about how close they came to a loved one when they only had a year to live.  I know of another testimony where a woman was terminally ill and set about getting her affairs all in order.  She was healed just two months before she would have died.  She said she was disappointed.

Where is our spiritual life at?  Can we accept whatever God allows to come into our lives?  Are we ready for ministry or for comfort?  If we ask WWJD the answer would be to be involved in ministry.

Two Bible passages point to how we should pray and be ready to serve God.

(Philippians 4:6-7 WEB) 6 Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 WEB) 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

jo stafford & gordon macrae – whispering hope

Still learning to trust God while building my faith – wayocross

Categories: Suffer, Testimony

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