Monday, June 26, 2017

Suffering and pain or death with dignity?

Recently, a Facebook friend of mine posted this question on her page? "What do you think about assisted suicide? Good or bad, give me your opinions..."

I wasn't surprised to see that many people who responded to her question felt that assisted suicide (in cases of the terminally ill or when someone is in a situation where that person is enduring tremendous chronic pain) is perfectly OK and is actually the right of the person to end their own life.

Death with dignity is the catch phrase used to end your own life on your own terms. Why should you suffer when you can end your life and be out of your pain. That phrase Death with Dignity made me think of one of my own favorite phrases.... "What would Jesus do'?

What does the Author of Life, God Almighty, think about anyone in his creation ending their lives in their own timing, not his?

It's a complicated subject and one that is highly charged, that is for sure. In all honesty as a person who has suffered greatly these past twenty years living with the progressive, debilitating disease multiple sclerosis, I would be a liar if I said that I hadn't at least thought about it on some of my worst days when I felt I just couldn't take it anymore.

It's very hard when you are in pain all day, every day. It's not for the faint of heart, that is certain. It's gotten harder as the years have gone by. Not being able to drive anymore and being home bound almost all the time now opens up new challenges. Having cognitive problems on top of that makes it doubly hard. But that is my life, and one that I have learned to accept. Besides, this life is only temporary, I'm just passing through on my way to be with Jesus.

Any of those deeply disturbing thoughts I've had about ending my own life, have been quickly overrun with what I think God would think about such an atrocity? How could I stand before Jesus and justify my actions? We all will account for every word and every action taken during our life at the judgement seat.

And what about my family? How could I do that to them? Having two family members of my husband end their life that way, I have witnessed first hand the devastation left behind for their loved ones to try and pick up.

And what about God's Grace? He gives us His Grace to help us in all situations, right? I certainly have found that to be very true.

I began to avidly search my "go-to" book of life, God's Word, the Bible. Any questions you have about life, the answers can be found within the pages of this treasured book. You need only seek, and truly, you will find.

Here are a couple of verses I found that popped right up to me.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Psalm 34:17-20

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

2nd Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For me, the answers were clear and simple. Life is something given by God. Life is something to be treasured and protected at all costs, no matter what the circumstances. God can use your suffering and trials, if you let him. But you must seek His will to do that.

I certainly can understand and even empathize with those suffering through life living with chronic pain and living without hope. But the Lord doesn't want anyone to be without hope. He is the Hope of the World. Only He can bring Hope to a seemingly hopeless situation. He is the light of our lives.

The Bible points the way to anyone who is searching:

Romans 5:2-5 

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 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.

I try everyday to take my suffering and use it to bring Glory to God. I'm sure I don't always succeed, but that is my goal. Suffering is part of this life. If we want a pain free life and body, we have to wait until we get to heaven. And anyway, why should I be sparred from suffering during my time here on earth when my Lord and Savior was nailed to a tree and died a horrifying brutal death? Kinda puts everything in perspective doesn't it? Sometimes I feel silly even complaining the least little bit about anything I've had to endure when I think about the suffering of Jesus.

He is the one who gives me the strength I need to face each new day, no matter what it may bring. I cling to this verse to help me on my toughest days:

1 Peter 4:12-19:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 

Thank you Lord for giving me the strength to get through even the toughest of days. Help me to continue to strive to bring you Glory, through it all.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Lord Jesus, 

I pray today for those living without hope. I pray for those suffering in life without having you by their side. Ease their pain Lord. Be with them Lord, open their hearts to you. Give them the strength they need to reach out to you Lord, for we know that you are our only Hope. Thank you Lord for each new day.


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