My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Whiny Wednesday / Suffering Saint / Disappointed Disciples / Crisis Christians - finding hope

I wanted to make this a positive entry instead of my usual Whiny Wednesday.

Do everything without complaining or arguing... so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a wicked and crooked generation. Phillipians 2:14-15

I'm not going to complain today, Lord help me not to complain but just to share from my heart.

I've been reading Christian artist Aaron Shust's blog ... he is frequently out on tour and his wife, bless her sweet soul, is back at home raising their boys. Boy number two has a lot of health problems and they just had baby number three who has Down Syndrome and will have to have heart surgery.

They're not in a puddle feeling sorry for themselves... he's continuing to do what the Lord has called him to do... and she's continuing to be his helpmate by being strong and dealing with whatever comes her way.

I've realized that no matter how miserable I think I am... there are so.many.more people who suffer much worse with much more grace than I have.

My first prayer would always be "Lord if you are willing, take this cup from me" Luke 22:42

I've always sort of focused on that verse... the fact that EVEN Jesus didn't want to suffer... and even Jesus asked God to take the struggle away.

God left Him in the struggle because millions and millions of people would find hope, mercy, grace, peace, SALVATION through what happened at the cross.

And I don't mean to minimize the horrible crucifixion by referring to it as a struggle. It was so much more.
But I do mean to draw some parallels between the things we face as suffering servants... and the suffering that Jesus faced.

I never really paid much attention to the next verse after Luke 22:42...which says, "An angel from Heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him"... Luke 22:43

I know that on days that I know there is no way I'm going to be able to work... when I turn it over to God and ask for strength... and when I humble myself and whine and complain ask for prayer... I find strength. I go forward in the knowledge that my sweet sister in law, and my daddy, and my friend Pam and many, many more people are lifting me up in prayer each day and...

I just get up and go.

You know how when you touch something and it's too hot and you withdraw whatever body part has come in contact with the source of heat IMMEDIATELY to relieve your discomfort?

That's what my back pain has made me want to do. I want to remove myself from situations that cause discomfort but I don't have that option. I have to keep moving forward and I have to keep living my life and I have to remain in contact with the source of discomfort. And pray... that my suffering is an encouragement to someone else who is suffering... and that when they know that I dragged my ragged, pain filled body off to work, that maybe they'll be able to find strength to do that very thing that is their challenge that day.

Do you imagine that Jesus might have wanted to come down off of that cross? Yet knew He had to do the job that God had called Him to do.

There is something different about the back pain this week. I believe the discs that were bulging are in worse shape. I'm feeling sharp, stinging pain in my lower back, right where the discs were about to squirt out like a jelly donut that gets mushed in the middle. Hurts like the dickens. It's miserably uncomfortable and yet... I've made it through two very long days at work and I'm gonna make it today, by the Grace of God.

My Christian walk has been riddled with drama... I've always had *something* going on... some cross to bear... some CUP that I want God to take from me... something that I think I'm lacking... needs that haven't been met yet. Desires that need to be closer in line with what God intends for me.

I'm always standing in the need of prayer. I suppose most people are. Everyone has something that isn't working for them... some loved one they're burdened for... some "less than" situation where they don't have enough of ____________. Some "too much" situation where they're dealing with more than they can handle.

And what I see... the less I look in the mirror and feel sorry for myself... the more I look around and see other suffering servants of God... starting with Jesus Himself...

The more I see people who are still moving right on through the pain.

It's like we're a special club, The Walking Wounded. The Disappointed Disciples. The Crisis Christians.
The Suffering Saints. And we have to... I have to... make sure that I'm living a life that provides hope for the others who see my situation. I have to work at not being bitter.

Somebody, somewhere is reading my blog and struggling... with discouragement, hurt, pain, frustration... somebody out there is thinking that there is no God and there is no reason for the hope I have.

I know of someone who is dealing with a parent that she dearly loves who is facing an illness that will almost definitely be what ends his life and it will end sooner rather than later. Yesterday when I mentioned to her that I am continuing to pray for her situation she volunteered the information that her parents are not Christians. I blurted out... "where is their hope?"

How... in the world... do you offer hope to people who are suffering if they don't have the hope of a Great Hereafter. A Super Power who doesn't need a cape and tights to swoop in and save the world. He already did it. We just have to get it. To accept it. That the battle is over and the Lord has been handed whatever the cosmic version of the Lombardi trophy is... and we're here... the ones who believe... to share hope with others who have yet to believe... that they may see something different in the way we suffer.

If death is the end and illness is a slippery slope that drops you off in the grave where you'll just be there in the dark, cold ground and that's it. The end. Where is your hope?

I'm willing, as I've told you before, to live a Christian life... even if there were no "retirement benefits"... so to speak. If death is the end and there is no Heaven, I will have still lived a better life by believing that there is and by believing that my faith in God will get me there.

So that's my Whiny Wednesday. Hugs and blessings to all you Suffering Servants. Love, grace and peace to you.

1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.


Pamela Walden said...

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

I've been needing to get my lazy bones up from the computer for days to look up these verses!

Almost 5 years ago, my mother promised me that someday I would be able to have the opportunity to comfort others who have been the victims of divorce, anger, hurt, and bitterness. I'm so very thankful that the time has finally come when I sometimes find myself in that very place, offering hope to someone who feels there is no hope for the future.

God has been so faithful; He is still bringing us through hard times and providing for our needs. And when I find myself feeling hopeless again, He supplies someone who's been where I'm at to offer comfort to me again!

God is good.....all the time!