HOPE AND HEALTH
Once, while riding our bicycles over a mountain in California, I began to complain to my son John about the toll the ride was taking on me. My body seemed to be wracked with pain after riding for over six hours. After a moment he made one of his profound, son-to-father, life-altering statements to me.
“Dad,” he said, “we didn’t have to do this. We chose to do it. Pain is optional. Suffering isn’t.”
Solomon also made a similar statement: “A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit - who can bear?” All of us endure days of suffering as well as pain as we walk through life’s journey. Often the “pain-part of life” brings about the accomplishment of a heart’s desire: to accomplish something that is very difficult. It may be that no one else has ever attempted to do what we have set our hearts to do that comes from pain or suffering.
We may be chosen by God to endure long nights of unbearable suffering that no one has the capacity to embrace. Our minds may be confused by problems that surmount all methods of healing. Suffering often alters our inner resources and mental outlook to combat the “unwanted suffering.” Many of us come to the place where we have no more mental, physical or even spiritual resources to overcome our suffering. What then?
Are there any simple answers or pithy statements or verses available? Though we may try, sometimes there are no easy ways to eliminate the suffering. All must accept the grace of God and enter into the “fellowship of His suffering.” Remember Jesus: “That I may know Him!”
Prayer: Father, we pray for those suffering today. Please give them Your peace, renew their spirit, comfort their minds and hearts, and grant them Your hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 18:14 A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit - who can bear?