Tag Archives: suffering

when death knocks on your door…


When the responsibility of turning off life support for my young son was placed upon me, it was obviously the hardest decision I have ever had to make.  Questions like, “But what if….”.

I’m not even going to entertain all the questions here, because as parents, I’m sure you can only begin to imagine the pain.

During those 37 minutes of agony for us all, God was already scooping up my 15 1/2 year old angel and holding him, all the while comforting me, as we kissed him for the last time.  His older brother and I lay in the bed next to him, and his protective dad stood close by, watching for any sign of distress.  He had assured me that if Clay had shown any signs of suffering,  he would demand they intubate him again.  So, he stood with clenched fists and tears streaming down his face as we waited for the certain to happen.

We whispered to him, reminding him we how much we loved him, and then Jesus quietly took him home.

We were never alone.  The spirit of Jesus was everywhere in that small hospital room.  It wasn’t ugly, it wasn’t loud….it was actually sweet.  Yes, we were devastated and immediately wondered what to do next, but the spirit of God kept us moving……kept us breathing…….and never left our side.

In the next few hours, we drove to a funeral home we picked out and made all the necessary arrangements.  Jesus was with us.

Next we went to the cemetery and found the most perfect gravesite under a beautiful tree.  Jesus was with us.

He never left our side and He hasn’t left me since.  When I am hurting, he is there.  I can look to His Word and find comfort in the scriptures.  I am reminded of the pain that He suffered on the cross, and I know He understands.

Yes, I cry a lot.  Yes, I miss him dearly.  But knowing at this precise moment, his crippled little body is whole, helps me put my own selfish desires aside and leap for joy!  Hallelujah!  I WILL see him again!

1 Corinthians 15:55  “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Are you feeling alone?  Have you placed your trust in our gracious Lord?  He wants to stand with you.  He wants to comfort you and He will uphold you with his righteous right hand.

Here are some steps to inviting Jesus into your life.  His grace is free and He is faithful and true!

First, realize you are a sinner (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”)

Second, recognize Jesus died on the cross for all our sins (John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”)

Third, repent.  Confess you are a sinner and need His grace. (“Acts 17:30 “God commands all people everywhere to repent)

Fourth, receive Jesus into your life!  (Rev. 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and kock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.”)

Pray this prayer with me, “God, I know I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness.  I believe that You died for my sins.  I want to turn from my sins and invite you into my heart and into my life.  I want to trust You as Savior and follow you as Lord.  In Christ’s name, Amen.”

If you have prayed this prayer and truly asked God into your heart, then God has forgiven you and adopted you into His family!  Death has no power over you anymore! “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” You have a place reserved in heaven to live for eternity!

A quote from Billy Graham’s book, Death and the Life After, “I’m not afraid to die, for I know the joys of heaven are waiting.  My greatest desire is to live today in anticipation of tomorrow and be ready to be welcomed into His home for all eternity.  Will you be making the journey with me?”


Leave a comment

Filed under life

why am i still praying?

Throughout history we can see the fingerprint of God.  Sometimes His handiwork is obvious;  remember the parting of the Red Sea?  And other times His work is unnoticeable and behind the scenes.

In Matthew 7:7-8, God tells us to ask, to seek, to knock.  But if God is supreme … then why pray at all?  Why would God allow pain or suffering or the unspeakable to happen?

It is one of the most troublesome questions in all of theology.  But let me say this,  God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.  We are human.  We are none of those things and can’t be expected to understand all of His ways.

Remember poor Job?  This was a man that lost everything but his wife and his life.  He lost his children, his home, his livestock, his servants and was covered in oozing boils.  Not to mention he had three so-called friends that lectured him on why he was getting what was due.

Finally, God speaks to Job and says what we all need to hear!  (Job 38:1-23)  First He asks Job questions and even emphasizes that HE is in control.  Then He speaks about the sea and its boundaries.  Who else can command the waves to start and stop?  Throughout the next chapters, God continues to speak to Job until finally Job has to say, “Ok…I got it”.

Job 42:1-2, “Then Job answered the Lord, and said, “I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.”

The Message says, “Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.”

Wow.  God is in control.  He sees the beginning and the end.  He has no limitations.  His plan can mean adversity or prosperity.  Tragedy or joy.  Even when we cannot fully fathom why, He knows.  He understands.  He rules.  He reigns.

His sovereignty should relieve us from our anxiety.  It might not take away all of your questions, but it will take away your fear!  And thankfully, He has freed us from having to explain or figure out what He is doing.  I can say, I don’t know why this happened.   I don’t know why my sweet little child had his handicap.   God knows and I don’t have to explain it.

Our part is to pray fervently, sincerely, and honestly, and bring our deepest concerns to the Lord. God’s part is to listen to our prayers and to graciously answer them in His own time, in His own way, according to His own will.

Joni Eareckson Tada has spent the last 45 years in a wheelchair.  She has inspired millions and had this to say about unanswered prayer:

“God is heaven -bent on making us more like Christ.  He can use anything – be it a broken neck, a broken heart, or a broken home.  Suffering has a way of uncomfortably revealing to us the things inside us that need to be transformed.  When I’m not in pain, I think I’m a very likeable individual.  But when pain continues to squeeze me, it’s like squeezing a lemon!  Out comes this sour attitude, this pessimistic anxiety, this fear of the future.  That’s when I have to realize that these are things God desires to change in me.  I think that what most people are hungry for is assurance that God is listening and that He cares.  We just want to know that He’s involved, that He’s compassionate.  What we need to know the most is Jesus Himself is the Answer.”

Don’t give up.  Continue to seek His Will and read His Word.  Don’t let your fast paced lifestyle demand so much of your time that you give up your intimacy with God.  Time spent in His Word will reap eternal benefits.

Trust.  Wait.  Pray. He loves you so very much…



Filed under Bible, christianity, family, God speaking, life, prayer

a piece of cake…

Sometimes we wonder, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ or ‘Why did God have to do this to me?’ Here is a wonderful explanation! A daughter is telling her Mother how
everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.
Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, ‘Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.’
‘Here, have some cooking oil,’ her Mother offers.
‘Yuck’ says her daughter.
‘How about a couple raw eggs?’ ‘Gross, Mom!’
‘Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?’
‘Mom, those are all yucky!’
To which the mother replies: ‘Yes , all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! ‘
God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.
(Thanks again, Rea!!!)

Leave a comment

Filed under family, food, life

suffering pt. 2`

So some of the lessons that I took away from the book of Job are that the righteous are not exempt from suffering.  I jumped over to the “right-hand” side of the bible….ok, the NEW Testament….to 2 Corinthians chapter one and learned more…

Again, I like what The Message had to say starting in verse 3…”All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah!  Father of all mercy!  God of all healing counsel!  He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” (Bold highlight, mine).

Ok, so there is one reason for suffering… then in verse 6…”If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.”  So…another reason is so that we may have patient endurance.

Verse 9…”Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”  Ok….so we will lean on God and not ourselves.

And finally in verse 11, Paul says, “..Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”  Hmm…..so others will give thanks to God.

So maybe if we view things as coming from the Lord, by His permission… people, we are going to GROW!  And I can always use the growth.  God knows when are struggles are overwhelming.  He knows when we are faced with unbearable circumstances too.  But have you ever thought that it was an object lesson to those around us?   OUCH!  LET THEM HAVE THEIR OWN STRUGGLES!!!  (ok, that’s the flesh talking here)….1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face.  All you need to remember is that God will never let you down;  he’ll never let you be pushed past our limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”  Aahhh……that’s what I’m talkin’ about…  He will never leave nor forsake us……..and THAT is what I lean on every single day.

1 Comment

Filed under family, God speaking


Suffering, suffering, suffering.  I have so many friends in my life right now that have a heap of suffering on their plates.  I have three close friends that are dealing with medical issues that would make any strong man weak.  Its ugly, dark name is Cancer.

Job suffered.  Here is a man that is minding his own beeswax and BAM! Satan was allowed to rock his world.  And rock his world he did…..So I began reading about Job and when you read it from The Message (rather than the King James Version) it really will start to rock YOUR world.  The subject is all about suffering and the mystery that surrounds it.  And the mystery is that it’s NEVER FULLY EXPLAINED!!!  What?  I need a “why”…..I’m FILLED with questions!!  Hmm….seems that Job had some too…

Job had been foolishly questioning the justice of God’s dealings with him (ok, I imagine that if I am head to toe with boils and my family has just died and all my livestock is gone and I’m left only with my dazzling personality…then, yeah.  I just might question what is going on)  Yikes!  Stop, Job!  This is GOD you are talking to!  NOW, the Lord is going to do the questioning and it’s time for Job to put on his big boy pants and get ready to listen…then answer….

This is taken from The Message and is Job chapter 38…

1 And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said:

2-11 “Why do you confuse the issue?

Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?

Pull yourself together, Job!

Up on your feet! Stand tall!

I have some questions for you,

and I want some straight answers.

Where were you when I created the earth?

Tell me, since you know so much!

Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!

Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?

How was its foundation poured,

and who set the cornerstone,

While the morning stars sang in chorus

and all the angels shouted praise?

And who took charge of the ocean

when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?

That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,

and tucked it in safely at night.

Then I made a playpen for it,

a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,

And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.

Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’

12-15 “And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’

told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’

So you could seize Earth like a blanket

and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?

As the sun brings everything to light,

brings out all the colors and shapes,

The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—

they’re caught in the very act!

16-18 “Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things,

explored the labyrinthine caves of deep ocean?

Do you know the first thing about death?

Do you have one clue regarding death’s dark mysteries?

And do you have any idea how large this earth is?

Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.

19-21 “Do you know where Light comes from

and where Darkness lives

So you can take them by the hand

and lead them home when they get lost?

Why, of course you know that.

You’ve known them all your life,

grown up in the same neighborhood with them!

22-30 “Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,

seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,

The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness

for times of trouble and battle and war?

Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,

or to the place from which the wind blows?

Who do you suppose carves canyons

for the downpours of rain, and charts

the route of thunderstorms

That bring water to unvisited fields,

deserts no one ever lays eyes on,

Drenching the useless wastelands

so they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass?

And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,

the mother of ice and frost?

You don’t for a minute imagine

these marvels of weather just happen, do you?

31-33 “Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters,

or distract Orion from his hunt?

Can you get Venus to look your way,

or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?

Do you know the first thing about the sky’s constellations

and how they affect things on Earth?

34-35 “Can you get the attention of the clouds,

and commission a shower of rain?

Can you take charge of the lightning bolts

and have them report to you for orders?”

Ok….there is more…..much, much more.  I tried to think about Job and what was going through his head as THE CREATOR of ALL is speaking to him!  I’m imagining Job feeling very small, very powerless, very inadequate, and very insignificant.   I have felt that way before.  When I sit in the audience of a powerful preacher or gifted speaker, I am amazed at how much I DON’T know!

In the 40th chapter of Job, he finally answers God.  Basically he slaps his hand over his mouth and says, “Ooopsy…” (ok, that is my version)… Here are Job’s words from chap. 40, verse 3-5….”I’m speechless, In awe– words fail me.  I should never have opened my mouth!  I’ve talked too much, way too much.  I’m ready to shut up and listen.”

Ok, my peeps.  How many times have we muttered those same very words!!  Too often. But God is so gracious and is so giving.  By the time chapter 42 rolls around, Job is overwhelmed.  He has acknowledged the sovereignty of God.  At the end of this book he is humble and  confesses that he spoke out of turn.  Job eventually receives TWICE as much as he had ever had and even though he had been so disfigured from the boils and disease, he had daughters that were exceptionally beautiful.  (I like that part).

So….I’m going to keep digging around in this book and find out what the heck we CAN be sure of……….(to be continued….)

Leave a comment

Filed under God speaking

a heavenly toast…

Taken from the book “Jesus Freaks” (stories of Revolucionaries who changed their world: fearing God, not man)

Anthony Parsons & Others.  England c.1540

“Having refused to turn from their beliefs, Anthony Parsons and those with him approached the stakes on which they were to be burned.  Arriving there, Parsons requested some drink.  With it, he turned and toasted his fellow sufferers: “Be merry my brethren, and lift up your hearst to God for after this sharp breakfast I trust we shall have a good dinner in the Kingdom of Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.”

At this toast, Eastwood, one of the fellow sufferers, lifted his eyes and hands to heaven and commended his spirit to the Lord.

Parsons walked to his stake and pulled some straw near to it before he allowed himself to be tied to it.  Holding the straw, he looked to the spectators and said, “This is God’s armor, and now I am a Christian soldier prepared for battle.  I look for no mercy but through the merits of Christ; He is my only Savior, in Him do I trust for salvation.”

Soon after this the fires were lit, and these men exchanged their mortal lives for ones immortal through Christ Jesus.”



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized