My family carries a certain burden of "suffering" every day as it relates to caring for Carly and managing Larry's chronic health concerns. Really, we all carry certain burdens of regular hardship. But the nature of this ministry means that I connect with people on a daily basis who are really in some overwhelming times with very very heavy burdens — marriages crumbling, often admist horrific sin...individuals bent low by severe and chronic pain...parents enduring the slow agony of watching their child dying...brain-injured children who will require 24/7 care for the rest of their lives. Just this morning I am faced with praying for several close friends in very difficult circumstances and then came to Facebook and found that another close friend broke her pelvis in three places yesterday while biking.
Wrapping our minds around the purposes of suffering is one of the greatest challenges of life — a greater challenge, often, than enduring the burden itself. Our sense of helplessness is fueled when we can't help "fix" or bring comfort to others who are suffering so deeply. The enemy would lead us to believe that prayers alone are not enough. Prayer, in fact, is THE FIRST thing! Certainly it should not be the LAST thing we do, but it most certainly must be the FIRST thing.
Today, as I remain in constant prayer for many hurting friends, my mind and heart have come to rest on these three things:
PSALM 18 ——which reminds me our God is a vicious warrior, roaring like thunder through the heavenlies on our behalf
1 PETER 1:16 ——the challenge to "Be holy because I am holy" along with this quote from My Utmost for His Highest" which says: "Never tolerate, because of sympathy for yourself or for others, any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God."
THE OLD HYMN: IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL [let's sing it together throughout this day]
And if you don't know the story of why and how this hymn was written out of suffering, listen to this YouTube version:
Will you join with me today in making the Blog (and Facebook Discussion Board) a tool in God's hand for us to be in prayerful communion for those who are hurting?