Today was the funeral of my uncle who passed away about a week ago. His life was one of physical difficulty. I heard from his pastor that my uncle had recently shared Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” My uncle suffered from the physical problems. However, he rejoiced that God taught him Biblical truth. He passed that truth on to his children. I am watching my cousins working on passing on that truth to their children. What a beautiful legacy.
I do not want to diminish the harsh reality of physical suffering. I can assure you; I struggle counting my own trials joy. However, I have seen God use various difficulties to help His people grow. Growing spiritually is a worthwhile pursuit.
Dear Heavenly Father, please comfort my family as they grieve. I ask that You wrap Your loving arms around them to remind how much You love them. Thank You for the spiritual growth You send through trials. Please help us to cling to You.
This week has been hard on my dad’s side of the family. Yesterday morning, God chose to take one of my uncles home to glory. This uncle had many health issues so while the family is grieving, we are thankful that he is no longer suffering.
The Bible tells us we will have difficulties in this life. Each of us will suffer in different ways. While I still struggle with the suffering piece of life, I can take comfort in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world. When Jesus came to earth, His whole purpose was to die on a cross for us. He came to pay the penalty for our sins. Jesus overcame death and dying. Those of us who place our trust in Jesus have hope for an eternal future. I know that my uncle is rejoicing and whole.
As you face the tough days in your life, know that you can have hope if you place your trust in Jesus. He has overcome the world.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus’ overcame the world. Please help me to share the hope that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
We have seen so many forms of anxiety in the last year and a half. Life has been challenging. However, there are many forms of help available. I have been amazed at how powerful positive words can be. Unfortunately, negative words can have a strong affect also.
I think if we were to give a “good word” more often, we would be amazed at the affects. I received several “good words” after I shared my health diagnosis earlier this year. I still have cards posted on my living room wall. The sentiments in them are so encouraging. I recently did some digging to find similar cards. I want to be an encourager. I know firsthand how beneficial it can be.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many encouraging words that I have received. I pray that You would help all of us to find ways to share good words to each other.
As I faced doctors’ appointments and surgery earlier this year, I heard comments of people worried that I was alone. Being single, I don’t have a spouse to go with me or support me through a health journey. While the support of a spouse is comforting, God sent me comfort other ways. I had a friend who drove me to 3 appointments and spoke up during some overwhelming times. I had friends praying for me, sending me cards and text messages, giving me hugs at church. I had the help of my parents at surgery time.
While I went to my second opinion appointments without another person, I know God was with me. He has been with me for many years through both good times and bad. God doesn’t leave just because I hear a diagnosis that I don’t like. God’s faithfulness becomes more precious through health issues.
God promises so many times in His word that He will never leave us. He is close, so I am never alone.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being close no matter what is going on in my life. Thank You that I don’t ever have to be alone, no matter who in this life is beside me.
The Psalms are filled with praise and encouragement. This one starts with praising God and recognizing that He is worthy of worship. Then we are reminded that God is the one Who hears prayer. For Almighty God to be willing to listen to us is an amazing thing. God is in charge of the universe, but He still wants us to come to Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that I can come to You and bring my requests. Thank You for your leading in my prayers. I ask that You would be at work in hearts so more would cling to You and bring their requests to You. Thank You that You listen to all who come to You.
I know many who have shed tears in recent times. There are all kinds of reasons for those tears. The Psalmist had many trials and difficulties. He took them to the Lord to find the help he needed. We don’t know when we will have the shouts of joy – sowing tears can seem like a long process.
I know that God always does what He promises. While the tears are heavy and the suffering can seem long, I know that we will reap with shouts of joy!
Dear Heavenly Father, please help those who are shedding tears while sowing for You. Please strengthen them. Help them to remember they will reap with shouts of joy.
This last week I have been fighting a different battle. The company that manages my employer’s disability policy does not have the information they want to process my claim. I have been confused and felt hassled trying to be the go-between to get this situation resolved. I have needed the reminder to pray and trust the Lord completely. God has this situation in hand, just as He had my surgery and recovery taken care of.
Life is full of various challenges. God has the ability to take care of us through anything He allows in our lives. I need to rely completely and totally on God to be able to make it through those situations.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing secure footing when I rely completely on You. Please help me when I struggle to trust You completely. I know You are trustworthy.
Lord, I am willing to receive what You send, lack what You withhold, relinquish what You take, suffer what You inflict; To do what You command and To be what You require.
I know I much prefer receiving the “nice” things in life. Something that warms my heart like a friendly greeting or good news. I find it much harder to receive difficulties. Going through appointments and surgery for a pre-cancerous tumor hit my introverted personality hard. There were many difficult things along the way. However, I spent so much more time praying. I have also been convicted to watch for and write down the joy God sends throughout the difficulties. I have found it fun to share the stories of the blessings. I found it easier to make it through the tough times by looking for and enjoying the positive things.
I want to be willing to say what Elizabeth Elliot did – to be willing to have what God wants. I know God’s gifts are always best. Prayer and thanksgiving are two great ways to receive what God gives.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many blessings You send my way. Thank You that the difficulties are a gift to help me draw closer to You. I ask for help as I continue to navigate the challenges of life. Please help me to share hope, love, and faith in You with those around me.
This week I hit the proverbial brick wall. I had been to several appointments in 2 ½ weeks and while I had the blessings of many nice people, I think I just reached the point of exhaustion. There was so much push to start with I felt I had to make a decision and get going. While I don’t like crashing, it pushed me to seek a second opinion. I will be heading to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in about 2 weeks. I like their integrated approach including working with the patient to help them understand and feel comfortable with the decisions being made.
While it is important to work through medical issues without delay, it is nice to have a break. Taking time to rest is important. We tend to hurry through life, and it can take its toll. I will thoroughly enjoy no appointments for a time.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a short time of rest from medical appointments. Thank You for the encouragement from the staff at CTCA. They have been a blessing. Please help me to cling to You and show You to others as I face this journey.
As I continue on my journey of being diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer, peace can seem illusive. When I allow my mind to go down path A, B or C there are so many variables I can worry about. At this point I am waiting for the results of an MRI. I do not know what path I will walk down. I need to wait for the next step, not think about 3 steps down the road.
A friend of mine talked about claiming peace. I think we get stuck on God giving it – thinking somehow He is going to miraculously make us feel good. God promises to give peace. I think we need to remember to take it. God doesn’t force His free gift of salvation on us. He isn’t going to force us to take the peace He offers. I definitely need the help of the Holy Spirit to make the wise choice. But I shouldn’t blame God when I have chosen to be anxious. That choice is NOT God’s fault. That choice is mine.
As I work at taking one day at a time, I am going to ask God’s help to claim the peace He so readily offers. Peace is a great gift from a loving Heavenly Father. It is mine for the taking.
Dear Heavenly Father, my mind and heart are so prone to anxiety. Please forgive me for my lack of trust. Please help me to claim the peace You so freely give. Thank you for such a great gift that is mine for the taking.