Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Can we Glorify God in our suffering?

There has been a lot of suffering going on in my life these past 12 months. My Dad has had a tremendous amount of sickness, and has been in and out of the hospital about 6 or 7 times. I have seen him close to death, only to rally and fall again and again. Now it looks like he may be really turning the corner, and finally be on the long road to recovery. That is a true Praise Report because more than once Pop's doctors thought he had little to no chance of making it. I have felt strongly throughout his many health battles, that his time on this earth was not over, and that God had more work for him to do. His miraculous recovery, over and over again, is sure testimony to unbelievers that my Dad's life is not in the hands of the doctors, but in the Mighty and Capable Hands of God Almighty! As my dear friend Ron always reminds me "Nicki, those doctors are just practicing medicine. That's why they call it a medical practice. They are not the true Healer, the true Healer is the Lord God. He works His healing through the doctors and prayer." At that is so true, my Pop is well, because God chose for him to live longer, plain and simple. We have a time to go, and this was not my Pop's time, not yet anyway.

On the other side of the coin, I have watched the sister of a dear friend succumb to cancer, after a 10 month courageous battle. With her abiding faith in Jesus and through her online Caring Bridge website blog, she ministered to at least 3,200 friends and family over that time (that is how many hits she had on her web page), including myself. How many more people actually followed along on her blog, but yet made no comment, we'll never know, but I do know she impacted many through her words of encouragement and love.

It was really something to watch her bravery and belief in the Lord until the very end. Although her time here on earth is now over, her suffering and the way she handled herself was a wonderful example for the world to see. I am glad that she was my friend, and feel so blessed that she touched my life. She was a principal and teacher and made a huge impact in the educational environment over the course of her long career. She taught our precious young people, and was a tireless worker with their best interests always at heart. But to me, her greatest accomplishment was watching her face her own death, with unbelievable dignity and grace. Seeing her reach out to her friends and family and ministering to everyone that came in her path. It was very evident to me, anyway, that God was totally glorified through her untimely passing. I will miss Beth and I will never forget her.

I think some people think that Christians are different, that they are set apart, and they don't endure trials and suffering like everyone else does. Let me say from my point of view, that I have never known a Christian that has not had their share of suffering. Are set apart, are we different from non-believers? Yes, but the only difference is we know that God has a plan, that we are not the ones in ultimate control of our lives, the Lord God Almighty is. We know that because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven and when we die, we will spend eternity in paradise with Him. There is a tremendous amount of peace that comes from those assurances. Anyone can have that same peace, if they trust Jesus as Savior.

I mean, really, why should we be exempt? God allowed his only Son, Jesus Christ to suffer. He was fully God and fully man. He suffered like a man; dying a terrible death crucified on a cross. He could have saved Himself at any time, but He didn't. He stayed there and suffered for all of mankind. He took our place on that cross and died for the sins of the world.

So, do you think that God can be glorified in our suffering? I say Absolutely, if we let God use us and mold us like a piece of clay. I have had and continue to have my own fair share of suffering through living with this disease called MS, but I choose to spend my limited time on this earth with a smile on my face and to let my light shine brightly for Jesus!

I had an bad reaction to the new drug I was trying, "ampyra." I took one dose and had to be pulled off. Boy, was I disappointed. I thought this was going to be the miracle drug for me because it has helped many people with MS walk better. But, it's not for me. Still, I am hopeful and know that God will heal me in His ultimate perfect time. We are having some family difficulties right now, but I know that He is in control of that, as well, and I am thankful. There is such peace in my soul. What a relief!

I'm seeing my PCP next week to talk about CCSVI, the new exciting controversial treatment for MS, that is taking the world by storm. Is this the miracle I have been praying for for so many years? Maybe so. I will continue to pray for God to lead me in the right direction, and open the doors that He sees fit to open. And, I will continue to pray for God to use me for His glory whatever my circumstances may be.

So I say, Lift up your eyes to Jesus. He will help you during any trials, tribulations, suffering or grief you may be going through. He can use your suffering to bring Glory to the Kingdom of God!

My verse for today is from 1 Peter 4:11 "Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God."

My prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Help me in my suffering. Help me to always Glorify to You in all my actions and words. Help me to wait on You and Your perfect timing; ever patient, ever knowing that You have a plan for me. Help me to remember Jesus and His suffering, and be thankful for all He did for me. I am blessed.

In Jesus Name I pray,

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