Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Honest talk about pain & struggles!

I'm struggling. I'm struggling a lot. I'm not supposed to. And I'm definitely not supposed to talk about struggling... WHAT????!!

Ever feel like that? Ever feel like that since you are a Christian, you are to live this perfect life where every thing is rosy & you have no problems? For some crazy reason, we Christians think that just because we accept Christ as our Savior, suddenly everything in life is perfect. And if it's not, we feel like we've failed God & everyone around us.

Life isn't perfect. Jesus even told us we would have troubles. John 16:33 says "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Jesus said we will have trouble. He didn't say come to me & all trouble will disappear. He said come to me so I can give you peace when you have trouble.

Why do we have troubles, pains, imperfections, etc? I truly believe a lot of it is because we live in a world ravaged by sin. Sin destroyed God's perfect creation. This world is flawed. Because of this, we will have storms, natural disasters, imperfect people, sickness & strife. But sometimes we have troubles because God wants to bring us to our knees & have us confess sin in our lives. It could also be that God has allowed Satan to sift us so that God will be glorified. We may never know the why? behind our suffering/struggling.

But we can know the God of the universe, the Creator, the Savior of the world who gives peace! The peace God gives is beyond explanation! In John 14:27, Jesus says " Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

This peace is not the absence of troubles or suffering. This peace is a calmness of soul, spirit & mind. It's a gentle inward assurance that even though things look bad, real bad, God is still in control and He will carry me through this.

How do I know this is true? Because I've experienced it first hand, time and time again. My story is not unique. It is one many people around the world experience. Mine is one of a body wracked with physical pain. It may not be your story for each story is unique. But whatever your story, Jesus is Here! He's waiting to give you Peace!

I've had pain since I was a child. I can't remember a time when I didn't hurt. But I've always known God was there to carry me through the pain. My pain has been given many names & progressed in severity over time - growing pains, cystic arthritis, fibromyalgia & now maybe something more severe & damaging. I go through a period of struggle each time it gets worse and I wait for a new diagnosis.

I wonder "why me?" I cry out in fear for strength. I question God. Yes, I said "I question God!" He's big enough to handle my questions. I don't blame God, but I do ask why me? Why now? Sometimes the only answer I get is "Trust ME!" and somehow it's enough.

As I look back, I can see how this life of physical pain has drawn me closer to Jesus! When doctors & loved ones can give you NO relief, Jesus is the One who can! It may only be Peace of mind & strength to endure the pain or it may be an easing of the pain. But His relief is always what I need!

I can honestly say I would not trade one bit of my life! Yes, it has been painful at times. But without the pain, I might have walked away from My Savior! Without those sleepless nights, I might not have had time to pray for others! Without my experiences with pain, I might not be able to encourage others in pain & assure them that God WILL carry them through. Without my pain, I would not KNOW that God is all I need!

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