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!     

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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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