Through pain and sadness: a Godly perspective

I just read this and it really spoke to me about so much pain and sadness...from HERE

Grief:The church I pastor is three miles from the sight of Friday’s slaughter, where 26 people were murdered. Certainly this event will in some way define and shape the spiritual life of the community for decades to come. I know it will profoundly affect my family; many of those killed were the same age as one of my three daughters.
I spent last Friday in the counseling center the town set up, where families had gathered waiting to hear the names of their child, or to see if any new information came out. At one point an official came in and let everyone know —as best he could—that if their children were still unaccounted for, than certainly they were among those who had been slain. All afternoon there was, understandably, weeping. All I could do was take any opportunity I had to minister grace to them.

“Weeping with those who weep” was the first and obvious biblical command to apply. It was not difficult to do. This event was tragic, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, of waking the next morning to an empty bed that would not be filled again. For those who suffered loss and are not Christians, I prayed that God would reveal himself to them, and point them to Christ. For those who do know the Lord, I sought to encourage them by reminding them that God is still on his throne, and that this—as hard as it is to imagine—is part of his permissive will. There is good at the end of this unspeakable evil. Maybe some will come to faith in Christ through this trial. Maybe believers will be encouraged to trust God more deeply, and live for Him more faithfully. We don’t know what the good is, but we know that God’s word promises that for those who are called by God, all things work together for our spiritual good and his eternal glory.

newtown signDavid understood this truth when his son died. He took comfort in the knowledge that his child would not come back to him, but that he would go to that child when he himself would die, and be in the presence of the Lord.

The challenge in this trial is, of course, to find comfort in the sovereignty of God and in the reality of grace; not to minimize the suffering, but to give hope and shine the light of God’s ultimate glory in it. Through God’s grace he gives believers the ability to look past the shocking loss and the hideousness of this sin, and (with time) to start to see his glorious purpose through this evil.

But now—right now—we are dealing with the fact that this act was unspeakably evil. These murders show us the wickedness of man and the depravity of the heart. All of us have this capacity for evil in us—we don’t all commit this kind of heinous crime, but the reality of sin is ever present. And that realization is what then leads to the glory of the cross. There is a savior who bore the curse of the law that the wickedness in our hearts deserves. There is a savior who is greater than this act of malice. In that sense, the more wicked the sin, the more glorious the cross. Hence in the greatest of all tragedies—the murder of Jesus—God was working grace, with the goal that His grace would be known by us.

It has to be noted that this kind of sin and horrible loss is not absent in the pages of Scripture. Job had his family murdered by the devil, and Job responded with a heart of faith: “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” And Job’s faith in the sovereign hand of God must remain ours now.

Cross: At the same time, we remember that Job also asked “why?” as we are prone to do. We must realize, however, that God never answered Job’s why question, nor did he permit Job to question his wisdom. Instead, God simply pointed Job back to his own glorious character, sovereignty and wisdom. And Job found a place of blessedness when he rested there. His blessing came by resting in the glorious purposes of God. I think we want answers, but God does not give us answers. Instead, he reveals his character and glory. And that is faith—leaning on the sovereign hand of God. Not knowing why, but knowing who to lean on through the loss. God does not answer our questions; he IS our answer.

In suffering, the purpose of God is to lead us to Himself and His sufficiency in Christ. God pointed Job to His revealed glory in creation, yet we have so much more. Job did not know about the cross where God would reveal His glory, grace, and character as He had not done previously. He crushed his Son for sinners. He demonstrated his love in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate revelation of the character of God. Death is not the end of the story for those who turn to Christ, but eternal life in the Son is.

That is why, at the end of every day (but especially last Friday), we pray that God would point people to the cross of Christ. That in this terrible crime that places the horrible consequences of sin and the reality death before us, that the glorious message of life in Christ would advance through his people. Thus, against the darkness of such evil, the light of Christ would shine more brightly.


Affliction is one of God’s medicines. By it He often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it He often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly. Health is a great blessing, but sanctified disease is a greater. Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what all naturally desire; but losses and crosses are far better for us, if they lead us to Christ. Thousands at the last day, will testify with David, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” (Psalm. 119:71.)

I love this quote by J.C. Ryle. As I have gone through my trials I see God's hand in every part of it. This is far better if it leads me to the cross.

Another free book giveaway!

I am excited to say I am doing another book giveaway! You have three ways to enter:

1. Follow me on facebook HERE and leave me a comment that you did!

2. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment that you did!

3. Share this giveaway on your facebook page and leave a comment that you did!

Each of these is a separate way to win!

I will pick the winner Sunday night with raffle king!

Good Luck!

50/10 rule

I just heard some really good advice today that I wanted to pass along to you:

If you are suffering with chronic pain on a daily basis you know how hard it is to think positive for very long. This advice was for every hour you can spend 10 minutes crying, yelling, feeling sad...
But then, for 50 minutes do something positive! Read your Bible, play with your kids, sing songs, pray for someone, go on a walk with your husband, sit outside and feel the wind blow, etc... Do something! Don't let your pain eat up your day! While we may not be in control of when we have pain, we are in control of how we react to it!

Blessings on you today!

Rejoice in the Lord always!

Today I was reading in Philippians 4:4-7
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again :Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

A few things stuck out to me as I was reading this...

  • 1st we need to rejoice always in the Lord, even when trouble or hardship hit. I know how difficult it is to be happy when you are in pain, but this isn't about being happy, but choosing to rejoice knowing God is always good!
  • 2nd I tend to get grumpy when I am in pain and these verses tell me to be gentle and let that be seen by others. This is also a choice. Joy and gentleness are very hard when in pain, but what better way to show someone else God's amazing love. I have heard a few times this last week, "Thank you Myndi for your sweet nature, especially going through so much pain. You are a testament to the Lord." This is not something I can do on my own, but something Christ is doing in me. Allow Him to work in you for others to see.
  • 3rd if you are going through a very painful trial right now and you do not see an outcome in sight (like I  am going through), it is very easy to become anxious and feel overwhelmed. It's easy to say, "Don't be anxious," but very hard to do. Rely on the Lord. Ask Him to calm you down. When you are anxious bring those feelings to the Lord. Paul tells us here that when we pray we need to be thankful when we pray to God. My husband and I have been complaining about our situation recently and we stopped and thought of what we say to our daughter about complaining..."Go write down 10 things you are thankful for today before I hear another complaint." Works for us grownups too!! 
  • 4th God promises to give us peace that is beyond any human understanding! He will guard our hearts and minds when we pray with thanksgiving, rejoice in Him, be gentle, and be calm. I pray you are able to reflect on these verses today in the midst of your pain. 
God Bless you!

The Way to God

by Helen Steiner Rice 

I was given this book of poems by a friend when I was very upset over pain. It has helped me immensely. May this poem speak to you in your pain!

If my days were untroubled
and my heart always light,
Would I seek that fair land
where there is no night?

If I never grew weary
with the weight of my load,
Would I search for God's peace
at the end of the road?

If I never knew sickness and never felt pain,
Would I reach for a hand to help and sustain?
If I walked not with sorrow
and lived not with loss,
Would my soul seek sweet solace
at the foot of the cross?

If all I desired was mine day by day,
Would I kneel before God
and earnestly pray?

I ask myself this,
and the answer is plain-
If my life were all pleasure
and I never knew pain,

I'd seek God less often
and need Him much less,
For God's sought more often
in times of distress-

And no one knows God
or sees Him as plain
As those who have met Him
on the pathway of pain. 

Disability and the Sovereignty of God

Below is a great interview between John Piper and a dad who had a son born to him and his wife that was blind and how they were able to see God's purpose in and through their son


Read John 9:1-38

4 Questions

› Do you worship Jesus?
› Do you find your worship of Jesus deepening or weakening
in the midst of pain and suffering?
› Does your worship falter or flourish when your family is
fearful or unbelieving?
› Do you confess him openly and defend him with your simple testimony, I was blind, but now I see?

3 statements
To encourage you in each of those four ways, here are three
› God has a wise, good, and Christ-exalting purpose for everything that happens to you.
› Jesus is the only path to the full, final, joyful experience of
that purpose.
› Jesus sought out a rejected blind man—this nobody, this
beggar—and he is seeking you out right now. To make you a
courageous worshiper of Jesus.

Never borrow sorrow from tomorrow

Deal only with the present,
Never step into tomorrow,
For God asks us just to trust Him
And to never borrow sorrow -

For the future is not ours to know
And it my never be,
So let us live and give our best
And give it lavishly -

For to meet tomorrow's troubles
Before they are even ours
Is to anticipate the Savior
And to doubt His all-wise powers -

So let us be content to solve
Our problems one by one,
Asking nothing of tomorrow
Except "Thy Will Be Done."

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

Dealing only with today is so hard for people who have chronic pain. The day may seem to drag on and on and it may feel like forever, while the rest of the world seems to happily race by us. God does ask us to trust Him just for today. Just like the Israelites in Exodus 16. When the Israelites had been in the desert two months after escaping Pharaoh, like us, they were beginning to get anxious. They longed for the days in captivity where they got great food...They began to whine to God and out of His great grace He gave them manna but just for that one day. In the same way, God gives us the grace to deal with our pain just for today. He wants our trust for today and not to worry about tomorrow. Total reliance on God means we don't doubt that God is always faithful. He will always give us what we need.

 Tomorrow will have worries of their own, but for today I am finding satisfaction in Him and Him alone. 

Mountaintop View

It is a fact of Christian experience that life is a series of troughs and peaks. In His efforts to get permanent possession of the soul, God relies on the troughs more than the peaks. And some of His special favorites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.

-Peter Marshall

             So what are we to do when we are suffering? First Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
              Rejoice always? How do I rejoice in the midst of my suffering? Today is day 41 of pain in my hip. Doctor thinks I pulled a muscle...I think he is wrong. I have never pulled a muscle that feels like a stabbing every time I take a step. Each passing day the pain is worse! Really?!! Why now? Why this? I had so much planned this month and my daughter's birthday is in 9 days. I had to borrow a walker from my neighbor so I can hobble around my house. I finally ventured out of my house today and that was a huge mistake!!! pain is now radiating down my leg...anyway in the middle of this much pain I am still called to rejoice.
             I look and see my beautiful, sleeping baby girl and realize what a blessing I have and I rejoice. I look across the room and see my husband studying God's Word and I am so thankful for all God has done to bless my marriage! Most importantly, I can rejoice in knowing my sins are forgiven and that I have full assurance of my salvation! AND...I am one day closer to being in my glorified body and being with my Savior! Hallelujah!
              Are you in in a valley in life right now that seems endless with no point? Take heart and know that God not only knows where you are, He planned it and loves you! He will not take you anywhere where His grace cannot keep you! His eyes never leave you! That He promises. Take comfort in Him!

Losing Heart

 "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight 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." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Today I felt defeated, even though I had not even gotten out of bed yet! Can you relate? I was picturing my day ahead-already knowing the pain I would be in. Thinking about it, reflecting on it and just feeling defeated. When I read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Paul's words echoed in my heart. I needed those words. I still do, as it is 6:30pm and my pain has not left me yet. As I read these verses I see my need to read God's Word more and reflect more on Him and not on my pain, for it is "wasting away." Hallelujah! Knowing this makes it easier to deal with. My inner nature (my soul) is being renewed each day...but ONLY if I choose to get into God's Word and meditate on its Truths.

 If I choose not to read or have had a bad day and don't get time for His word I am not renewing my mind. I am reminding myself of my pain and the feelings of "woe is me" creep in...slowly at first but then if I think too much on it it consumes my thoughts. 
You see, our pain is preparing us! It is God's work to get us ready for something beyond what we can ever imagine! He is good-Praise Him in and through your pain today. So friend, do not dwell on your pain today; rather dwell on the Lord. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Joyful Suffering

An evidence that our will has been broken is that we begin to thank God for that which once seemed so bitter, knowing that His will is good and that, in His time and in His way, He is able to make the most bitter waters sweet.
-Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Thanking God in times of pain is so hard. How can we tell God, "Thank you for this cancer," or "Thank you for my child having leukemia." It is only after we reflect on the joyful suffering that Christ displayed on the cross that we get to understand what this suffering looks like. Christ chose to suffer and die on the cross for sinners like me. Hebrews 12:2b says, "for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross." Let this verse really sink in. The God who is Holy, omniscient, perfect, loving came down to this earth to live a sinless death and died a sinner's death, taking your place and mine, so we can have His righteousness! Glory be to God. He calls us to take up our cross daily and follow Him.

That means all that we go through, the good, the bad, the hard times, the sickness, etc...we take it all to Him. Bring it to His feet and give Him all the glory! People are watching our lives to see how we act when we suffer. Are you going to display Christ for them to see so He gets the glory? Or are you going to complain and grumble that God allowed you to be in pain? Whether we are in pain or not we are to give Him the glory! He deserves our praise!

Don't waste your Pain!

Happy Mother's Day

Because it is Mother's Day and because I had an amazing pain-free day today I am giving away a copy of my book. All you have to do is:
1. subscribe to my blog and tell me what you did for Mother's Day in the comments section.

for an extra entry once you are a subscriber:

2. post this on your facebook and let me know you did
3. blog about this on your blog and let me know you did
4. tweet about this giveaway and let me know you did

This giveaway is open to all US residents and will close 5/18/12 at midnight Pacific Time

Need a Vacation from your Pain?

Ahhh...a vacation. Boy did I need one last year. I had been dealing with doctors and repeat complications of my condition, Trigeminal Neuralgia. No matter what I seemed to do, my pain was increasing. To make matters worse, I was starting to have memory and concentration problems (probably from my medications). I would get so frustrated at myself. I would have to leave multiple notes around the house to remind myself of simple tasks I needed to do, like return a call, be somewhere at a specific time, or take my medication. I did have a bit of respite as my family, along with some friends of ours, was going to Kauai for a week!
A break, a vacation…if only from my pain! We can take a vacation, and go 2,000 miles away, and yet our pain always seems to follow us! It was a tough vacation. I know, those words don’t seem to go together, do they. Yet, I was dealing with memory and concentration issues, which are much worse in an unfamiliar environment. My pain was worsening, and my daughter was misbehaving. During that week, I would wake early and go out onto our patio and read God’s Word. Psalm 139:7-10 was there, speaking directly to my heart: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” I reflected on verse 9, which says, “If I settle on the far side of the sea,” and that was exactly what I was doing. I was trying to run from my pain and get as far away from it as possible. But it never left me, and neither did God! His hand was guiding me. His promise was sure. I can take comfort that God is right there to pick up, my pain and carry it for me because His burden is light, and His yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30).  
He is there, always... No matter if we get a vacation in this lifetime or not we have the blessed assurance that one day we will feel no pain and be with our Savior forever. Amen!     

Rest Ministries chronic illness support featured site
Some of my favorite comforting verses are in the Psalms. Today has been a difficult day. Too much activity and my poor little head sometimes can't take it all. So Bible verses help as I try to commit them to memory. That way when I am in pain I can go right to the Scriptures I have memorized and know God's peace. Here is one I love:
Psalm 27:14-Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.

The reason I love this one is because when I feel weak I feel like giving up but God tells me to wait for Him and be strong. Not in myself of course, for I can't be strong on my own but only in Him. Thus my hear takes courage as I wait for Him!

Does God care if I am suffering? Why won’t He stop my pain? I’m not a bad person, so I don’t understand why God would allow me to suffer? How can you even say God is good when there is suffering in the world? These questions always disturbed me. I could not grasp the concept that an all-loving God would exist and allow pain and suffering in the world at the same time. I have suffered many trials in my life that cause me again and again to turn to the Bible—my source for life. However, it hasn’t always been this way. I tried to live my life my way and do the things I wanted to do. But thankfully the Lord brought me to my knees before Him showing me my need for Him in my life. I pray that you, too, will see your need for Him in and through your pain, and the sooner the better! In my book, Don't Waste Your Pain I deal with these questions and how to see beyond your pain. This blog is dedicated to those struggling in pain! I am here. I understand.

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