Suffering is a way of life for so many. Much can be learned from our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer. By God’s grace they persevere and find their strength in the God of their salvation. The weeks ahead I will be posting the stories from those within Crossway Church who are suffering. The goal is to see and celebrate God’s faithfulness and care through some of the darkest moments of life. In addition, it helps us know how to pray and care for those who are hurting.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 1 Cor. 1:3-4
Question 1: How are you suffering / How have you suffered?
I contracted lyme disease over 18 months ago. I am so grateful that I was diagnosed almost immediately avoid all the difficulties that come with chronic lyme. It was however still quite a challenge and a real life-changer for quite some time. Five months after the diagnosis, one of my college-age daughters became very ill with strange symptoms and seizures which necessitated my traveling to Michigan twice that semester to help her. Also, for years, I have been experiencing insomnia, and now for several months, I have been plagued by back pain that just won’t go away. Gratefully, I am no longer dealing with the lyme. I have been completely healed, as far as I know.
Question 2: How has God helped you endure through suffering?
God helps me endure my small sufferings by providing so bountifully for me and by reminding me of the temporary nature of the trials I experience. II Corinthians 4: 16-18 sums it up: ” For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Through suffering, God reminds me that He is sovereign, and that this world is not my home. Also, God provided help for me. Many ladies brought me meals, prayed for me, visited me, and sent me notes to encourage me. When my daughters were home from college for the summer, they pitched in and did all the things I could not, and they had a wonderful opportunity to depend on God and grow not only in practical domestic matters, but in compassion and kindness as well. I am very grateful for the things we all learned as we walked together through the lyme. And I am grateful for how God grew my appreciation for my church family as they sought to ease my difficulty.
Question 3: How can folks prepare for suffering?
How do you prepare for suffering? Expect it. It is going to come sooner or later. More importantly simply cultivate your relationship with the Lord. He is good, and you can expect to see and experience his goodness in suffering. I am learning to look for it more and more.
Question 4: How can we pray for you?
I am experiencing the mercy and kindness of God; He is always pouring it out, so if someone wanted to pray for me, pray that I would be quick to focus on God’s goodness instead of the difficulties of the trial.