Sunday, November 13, 2011

If God knows I'm hurting? "Even So, Come, Lord Jesus!". Would Jesus Attend Your Church? Bad Accident.


"If God knows I'm hurting, why doesn't He help me?

Why is it that God allows us to endure extreme suffering, seemingly on our own? Is it possible that He doesn’t care or has given up on us?

In the midst of some of life’s more grievous trials, our mind often finds itself fixated on one seemingly unanswerable question:     Why?

When our lives begin to come apart at the seams or we’re faced with a pain that feels unbearable, it’s almost impossible to not ask why. We want to know why God would allow something this terrible to happen to anyone, especially if He is the loving God He claims to be.

It’s at times like these that it becomes more important than ever to understand God’s purpose for suffering. The prophet Zechariah was inspired to write of a time of great trials to come, when the human race will be subjected to suffering it can’t yet begin to comprehend. In that description, we find why God allows us to suffer:

“I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God’”
(Zechariah:13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.).

God doesn’t enjoy letting us hurt. He is a loving God who wants the best for each of us. He allows trials and suffering to occur in our lives for one purpose only—because it’s sometimes through the difficulties and the pain that He can take and shape us into the best we can be.

There’s much more to be said on the subject, and you’ll find links to more detailed answers below. But the key is this: If you’re hurting, it’s not because God has given up on you. He loves you. He’s willing to be there every step of the way, if you’ll let Him. The apostle Paul—a man who had been shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, whipped, jailed and subjected to countless other torments—had this to write about the difficulties of this life:

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?… I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans:8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?, 38-39,) New Living Translation).

God loves and cares deeply about you. No trial will ever change that. From:

"Even So, Come, Lord Jesus!"

"Facing family tragedy, there was a haunting familiarity in my grief. What I've learned has changed my outlook on the world, and the future.

In 1999, I kept a deathwatch at the bedside of two remarkable women—my mother and my brother's wife. The experience was life altering and profoundly saddening. Afterwards, I felt older in a way that had nothing to do with the passing of years.

I acquired a personal understanding of Ecclesiastes:7:2-3[2]It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.[3]Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.,    which says, "Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better."

My mother had been ill for many years and had suffered a great deal. At the last, she was spending more time in the hospital than at home. She began to resist the almost weekly trips that had become torturous for her.

The family prayed for God's guidance. We knew that her life was His alone.

Perhaps we could have held on a little longer with more hospitals, needles and machines—all the things that had become so unbearable to her. We began to feel selfish, hanging on at her expense. She seemed to require our permission to stop fighting a fight she no longer held a hope of winning.

God guided us to an arduous decision that no one wanted to make. She died at home, under the care of hospice, with family in attendance. God's presence throughout those last days was almost palpable, dramatizing for me Psalm:48:14For this God is our God for ever and ever:   he will be our guide even unto death.. "For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death."

A Second Encounter With the Enemy

My sister-in-law's death stunned everyone. She collapsed at home, and within 48 hours was on life support. We prayed for a miracle. For reasons only He knows, God did not grant one. She died within hours, leaving my brother with four school-age children.

Both women were strong and tenacious, possessing a determined resolve to beat death. If it were possible to do so, I know they would have. My sister-in-law was renowned for her devotion to her children. Only 24 hours before she died, she insisted resolutely, "Don't worry. I intend to see my girls walk down the aisle." But she was wrong.

The Bible tells us that the last enemy that will be destroyed is death. Death certainly was the enemy to us. Yet as I watched these strong women in agony, their bodies failing them, I found myself begging God for it, knowing they could no longer ask it for themselves. I had learned that there are indeed worse things than death, like ceaseless suffering, heart-wrenching indignities and the ravaging of the human spirit.

My emotions were turbulent like a maelstrom. To adequately describe them is impossible. I felt the visceral anguish of impending loss; guilt, real and imagined; sorrowful regret for missed opportunities; and pain like a lava ocean-deep and hot. Capping it all was intense empathy for their suffering. Life was teaching me that sometimes, loving best is letting go.

Learning to Recognize the Pain

There was a haunting familiarity in my pain that I couldn't examine until some time had passed. With God's wisdom and patience, I have since come to recognize it.

God first called me in the early '80s, when I learned about the Kingdom of God, Christ's return and His ruling kingship. I read verses about the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdom of our Lord, and that He will reign forever and ever! I began to understand the thrilling promise of Revelation:21:4-5 concerning the new heaven and the new earth.

It was wonderfully exciting news, this Kingdom of God. There was just one problem. If all things were to be made new, life as I had known it would have to go. No more life in the fast lane, with 1.5 kids, two cars and a mortgage. We were talking about culture shock on a major scale.

So I spent a lot of time feeling guilty, experiencing shameful unease whenever I heard an earnestly expressed desire for Christ's return. I did want Him to come back. I just didn't want Him to come yet. I asked myself if I could really be the only one not looking forward to seeing everything I was familiar with—my lifestyle, my country, my culture-destroyed, even for so wonderful an event?

Clinging to the Familiar

According to psychologists, we cling to the familiar, even when it is to our detriment. This is a major reason we return to abusive situations, drugs, alcohol and other destructive lifestyles. We find comfort in the known, and are usually quite resistant to change. My world was far from perfect, but it was the only one I had ever known. Even the promise of Utopia—God's Kingdom—didn't completely quiet my unease.

The early Israelites themselves certainly fell victim to this very human trait. God worked unparalleled miracles on their behalf, both to release them from slavery in Egypt, and to sustain them afterwards. He promised to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. The life He offered must have sounded almost as perfect to them as God's peaceful Kingdom does to us today.

Yet they often complained, desiring to return to the familiarity of the life they had left behind. "We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic," they grumbled in Numbers:11:5We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:.    Would I really react any differently?

So, I took my concerns to God, telling Him that I wanted to look forward to Christ's return with my whole heart and soul. I did not want to be like Lot's wife, looking back at the crucial moment.

Time has passed. The world continues the relentless pursuit of sin and depravity that has occupied it for roughly 6,000 years. The end is surely coming, with each day bringing us closer than the one before.
Empathy and Grief

Watching pain in others is something I find extraordinarily hard to do. Yet, thanks to the nightly news and other technological wonders of the age, I have had an open window to the world. And the world is in pain and suffering.

I cried for its abused and murdered children, for its evil regimes, genocide, war crimes and other atrocities. Meanwhile, I began to be aware of a feeling I couldn't name, a strange mixture of sorrowful sadness and empathy. At first it was intermittent, but soon it was nearly always there, underlying everything. I became accustomed to it, like a leaky faucet you never get around to fixing. Still, I couldn't name it. Now I know that it was because I had no frame of reference for it.

What I was feeling was grief-anticipatory grief for a dying world. I was keeping a death vigil, watching helplessly as the disease process ran its course towards a certain end. Sin is a terminal disease-a cancer for which there is no cure except the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. It is often a silent killer, showing itself in all its ugliness only when the end is near, after it has conquered and consumed virtually all that is healthy and good.
Our world today works sin and suffering. The wage it earns is death. God, because He is merciful, will not allow it to remain in its sin forever. The time is rapidly approaching when, like my mother and sister-in-law, the pain of holding on will be greater than that of letting go.

Death, albeit the enemy, won't be the victor because God's gift to us is eternal life. As 1 Corinthians:15:57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.   says, He "gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."    Isaiah:26:19Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead,   describes that victory:    "But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead" (NIV).

God is infinitely patient, answering prayers in the fullness of His time. He knows that suffering is necessary for our growth, and that we grow by putting faith and trust in Him.

In the final chapter of Revelation, John says, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Surely I am coming quickly'" (22:20). It has been a long process, but I can now kneel and pray with fervent sincerity, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!".


Would Jesus Attend Your Church?
"Are Christ's original teachings about the coming Kingdom of God being faithfully taught in the church you attend?

This is the lesson on WGN this morning.


Jay wanted to work for a little while, so Misty and I went to get him.  We have had a couple of nights when it went below freezing, and another night like that could pop up at any time, or even colder, and the place isn't ready.

winterWe have had two usually cold Winters the last two years, so it seemed like a good time to start getting ready for Old Man Winter. 

Jay put up the soffit covers on the north side of the house and covered up the roof vents inside that part of the attic.  It gets bloody cold up here on this hill with nothing but fields behind the house. That part of the attic is where my water pipes and water heater are, so they need all the protection we can give them.

It was then Old Man Winter   arrived at our door

Then he put two bags of sand in the little red black wagon, and scattered the sand all long the trough where my aloe vera grows, and watered it in.  We will cover the aloe with it's winter protection in the next few days.

It befell upon me to call and get Jay's new phone activated.  It didn't show all the promised minutes at first, so he was upset.  When I took him home he was still fussing and fuming.  But it later resolved itself.  He is so impatient.

Ray came over and asked me if I had a phone book for Dayton, TX.   I might have a lot of things, but not that.  Internet to the rescue, I found the phone number he needed.
But the reason why he wanted it, is so sad.  The only son of a lady who is in Dayton as a guest of the state, was in a car accident and not expected to live.  The hospital needed to talk to her, his only relative.  The lad's left side was completely crushed, and the hospital could do no more for him.  Ray knew it would be best to call the chaplain, so he could relay the message to her.  

Apparently a deer was on the road, and by avoiding it, the vehicle hit a tree.  It is the son of where Shay is house-dog sitting here in this subdivision.  The authorities had found Ray's phone number on the young man, and that is how he got involved.  The driver of the vehicle is also critical, but that is all we know.

So there will be two families deeply anxious over this accident, but the mother of one can't even go see her dying son.  That must be so hard on her.  At least I did see my granddaughter before she died after being hit by a DDD. (dam drunk driver)

It started out at 41 deg. and scooted up 37 deg to 78 on a sad yesterday.

1 comment:

Fast Penny Cars said...

Well written story , Good one post shared....