I am no stranger to pain. I have had severe, chronic pain in my hips, legs, and back for many years. I have “good days” and bad days. The bottom line is, I hurt! Through it all, I do my best to focus on the Lord, not the pain. Like the song says (and it is true)…
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus Look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
It is only the grace of God that has kept me, grounded me, provided for me, and brought me this far. Every day I thank him for his countless blessings.
In recent weeks, it has been at the forefront of my mind. God’s goodness to me and our family. Like 1 Peter 4:7 advises, I have been alert, sober, watching, and fervently praying for what seems like hundreds of people around me who are hurting. It is nearly overwhelming. In Romans 8:22, when Paul said that the world would groan and travail, he wasn’t kidding!
In just my small, finite, circle of family, friends, and acquaintances, I am praying for people fighting cancer, financial difficulties, general sickness, broken homes, relationships, and families, broken hearts, loss of loved ones, overloaded single parents, and the list goes on. Many times I weep as I pray, groaning within myself. I groan and travail because of the pain around me and I pray that Jesus would not tarry much longer. And he himself did tell us that “in the last days there shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.” He said, “Except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.”
It is so painfully difficult to watch those you love dearly hurt so badly.
Many times lately I have made this statement to Jesus and many others: “There is so much pain all around me.” Recently, while in prayer, the Holy Spirit revealed something to me. It is all around me. But it “has not come nigh thee.” We have witnessed “a thousand falling at our side and ten thousand at our right hand,” but in the midst of it all, our family stands.
Like a house that burns to the ground and only the chimney is left standing, that has been our family.
I am not saying that we haven’t had our battles. We certainly have. But, if you compare many of the things we have gone through with those around us, we will tell you, “there really is no comparison.” Don’t get me wrong, we have waited on the edge of our seat for biopsy results too, and the results were not always “good news.” But through it all, God has kept his hand on all of us. Through it all, he has given us the grace we need to get through. Through it all, he has shown his goodness to us. “Surely goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives.” Just as 2 Peter 1:3 says, He has given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”
The best thing ever spoken to me was when someone said, “God walks with your family.” They didn’t say “it’s obvious that you walk with God”, but that He walks with us!
I am not saying that God is not with you if your circumstances are more difficult and painful than mine. It is not because any of us have done anything to earn God’s blessings. Not because we are any better or more special than anyone else. Romans 2:11 tells us that “There is no respect of persons with God.” Simply put, “God does not show favoritism.” We are all deeply grateful to the Lord for his grace, mercy, goodness, and faithfulness, and we tell him often. None of us take those things for granted. We do not know why it has been this way, but we will continue to accept these blessings as long as He continues to give them, being fully aware that things might not always go in a direction that pleases us.
Praise God! Through it all, He does not change! He is always good and he desires to give us His very best. After all, He so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son. That my friend is the very best of the best that God had to give. And he gave his son to us while we were yet sinners!