Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Under His Wings, you will find refuge.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Rejoicing through your suffering~

As many of you know I spend a lot of time on the internet and on Facebook. This is primarily because most of the time, I am home bound. My years of a crazy fast life, working and traveling, raising two boys and spend time at every baseball, basketball and football game known to man, are sadly behind me. Oh, and a little thing called Multiple Sclerosis knocked me in the face about 15 years ago too.

One of the things I am aware of as I cruise from page to page on Facebook, and catch up on the many devotional and blogging sites I often visit, are how much people are hurting and suffering in this world. I know that am not the only one by any stretch of the imagination, and I have come to the realization that I am so much better off than so many other people.

I can say that because although I do suffer greatly, everyday; for me, the difference is my attitude towards my suffering and disappointment. I do not and have never had the "why me?" attitude? How can that be, you ask? How can I deal with feeling lousy most days that I wake up? Romans 5:35 tells us that we should be rejoicing in our suffering! Rejoice?? "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

                                                 You want us to rejoice in our suffering...not easy but necessary~

In many ways suffering with multiple sclerosis has strengthened me and given me endurance and it has definitely brought me much closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Closer, you say? Yes, CLOSER. I don't blame God for me getting sick and for not healing me "Right NOW, which is, of course what any of us would prefer. Who in their right mind, would welcome being sick most of their adult life? Romans 5:35 tells us to rejoice, and I do rejoice in that my suffering has brought me closer to the Lord. That is a true blessing and one that I will be eternally grateful for!

Of course, in the 15 years since my diagnosis, there have been new drugs (The ABC Drugs, Tysabri, Amprya, Aubaugio, Lemtrada, and others) and new treatments (CCSVI) with the hope to improve some of the more debilitating symptoms of this devastating disease and improve our quality of life. But, and that's a big BUT, they aren't a cure, and for many of us, MS is an unwelcome yet lifelong companion.

One of the blogs I follow, had a devotional today about God using our suffering to "chisel" us into the people he wants us to be. I thought that was very appropriate, because many times I feel like I've been chiseled into the person I am now. A little bit here, a little bit there, and slowly but surely I become more of the person that Jesus wants me to be.

                         The Lord is chiseling away at me, and making me into the person He wants me to be!

It also made me think of the one of the verses about the Lord pruning us in John 15:1-2 "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more." 

                          Like grapes that need pruning, God prunes our life to enable us to bear more fruit!

I do feel that the Lord has used me more in the last few years. The fact that I am writing this blog for His Glory is one example. He has pruned me as I have gotten closer to him through my illness. In doing so, He has helped me show more compassion and empathy with others who are in the same situation or worse. Just like the Bible says, I am bearing more fruit because He has pruned me in the process to do just that and I am thankful.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

My dear Lord Jesus:

It's so hard to rejoice when you are suffering, but that is exactly what you want us to do. You know that through our suffering we will turn to you for refuge, and that is exactly what has happened with me. I have suffered much through this illness I have been living with for the past 15 years, but in many ways, it has brought be closer to you and for that I am forever thankful. Take me Lord, prune me and chisel me in the person you want me to be so that I may bring you and your Kingdom Glory! 

















Amen and Amen!