Thursday, March 26, 2009

Suffering or Joy? - March 26, 2009

Good Thursday morning! I felt privileged to be a part of the new VBW yesterday. In case you haven't been to one of our meetings, the requirement is that you be a veteran and have suffered a broken wrist in your past. It seems that God has brought together Burt, Rick, and I for a reason known only to Him, but each of us has qualified for the Veterans of the Broken Wrist. How's that for an elite group? :-) If you suddenly feel better because you didn't serve overseas in the military and suffer the pain of a broken wrist, I don't blame you one bit! We are not often called to suffer the same things in this life.

Last night in Bible study, I learned that our brother in Christ, Darrell Hall, suffered with the pain of a cancer for some 20 years. That is unimaginable to me, but I know that he made it through the strength and grace of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we cannot see how a brother or sister in Christ has managed to endure the suffering of some condition. Certainly those followers of Jesus who live under a repressive government come to mind and prayer in this regard. However! Suffering is not the only thing in this journey we take with Christ. While at times it seems that we are made to suffer, we should know that Christ did not suffer all the time here on earth. The Bible records times of feasting and prayer, walking and healing, sitting down for a meal with the disciples, and even how Jesus enjoyed the company of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus at their home. Gratitude for the joys and pleasures of this life helps to take our mind off the suffering and turn our thinking to Jesus. We are grateful to be allowed to suffer for Christ, but we are even more grateful to share in His joy!

I recall the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus had sustenance the disciples could not understand. I can imagine our Lord sitting there at the well as the woman ran from house to house and around the marketplace telling people that the Messiah sat at their well. How he must have smiled at her enthusiasm and the response of the people. We know that Jesus stayed for a couple of days at the request of the people of that town. If Jesus were here now, would your town beg Him to stay and teach them?

Be glad in Christ!


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