I am going to touch on the subject of suffering and living in pain, that is not mentioned much, if at all in churches today. I was brought up as a young child, in a Congregational church, and the salvation message was never preached. Then after my Dad died in FL in 1982, another divorce (the last) and a 3 year old, I went down on my knees and asked Jesus in my heart. By the time I got back home to NH in 1982, and probate in 2 states, God put me in a Charismatic church in 1984, where I had been blessed beyond compare for 15 years or more, with miracles, teachings, signs and wonders, and the most awesome move of God, I could ever imagine. I was so hungry, and couldn’t get enough of Gods Holy word.
Someone said to me once not too long ago how I wrecked my life having gone through divorces, deaths, pain. But, I have this to say to this person. When I got saved in 1982, I FOUND MY LIFE. MY LIFE BEGAN AGAIN ALL NEW! Those in my past? GOD removed. Even to some related by marriages, or phony friends I had then. The Christian friends God put in my life, from 1984 when God put me at my old Faith Christian Center, with the huge letters over the door, “Enter His Courts With Praise”, were a miraculous gift from God. The same people STILL in my life, now 35 years later. Without them in my life, my prayer warriors, my friends, my brothers and sisters, who I have prayed with, laughed, cried with, have ALWAYS been there all these years. Unlike those of the “world” who are your “fair weather” friends, who only love you when it benefits, them, or backstab you, or always bring up the past, which is under the blood. No, I FOUND MY LIFE…I died in Christ Jesus, and he made me anew, so that I can share with you, the reader, as a witness, how much HE loves you. As Saul on the road to Tarsus, a murderer, a slave trader, when he went down on the road, from the awesome blinding light of Jesus, he died. When he came up again, he was a changed man, to be Apostle Paul, the greatest evangelist who ever lived. Acts. As C.S. Lewis said, too, we have to die before we “die”. For, I am nothing, He and HE ALONE gives me life, so that I can have what comes out of me, rivers of flowing waters. Thank you Jesus, for all you have done for me.
My childhood life, my first 18 years, were too, joyous, and my mother and father, gave me such a blessed childhood. My church, then had never taught the salvation message. My childhood was a joyous happy one. Then came young womanhood, and marriages that never should have happened, as I picked the wrong men in my life young. I suffered the death of my first baby at 3 mos., and my last son in 1999, who was bi-polar and a suicide. Those were the years of deceits, beatings, threats, and hates, because I went away from my upbringing, and was a backslider, not following my Lord. They were my hardship years of divorces. But, my Jesus never forsook me. He was always there, just waiting for me to come down on my knees, and ask Him to forgive me. I gave up my worldly life, back in 1982, to give my life over to my Jesus, for I knew that only HE could lead me. My life BEGAN that day, when I died before I died, on my knees, after my Dad just died, in FL Thank you Lord Jesus, for your love for me, for your hand on my life, for all you have done. Amen.
Yes, I have known pain. Do I believe in healing? Yes, emphatically…YES! However, I do not believe God heals everyone. As Apostle Paul who asked Jesus, “why don’t you heal me Lord,” and Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient.”
When my 19 year old son died, so horrifically, suffering with bi-polar as his father, he blew himself up with 6 sticks of stolen dynamite. How I grieved for him. I ended up crying for weeks so convulsively that I brought on a mini stroke. I did not call 911, and I do not advise doing what I did, but I was so heartbroken, I didn’t care. I couldn’t help him, couldn’t get other agencies, doctors to help him, I was so devastated. When I ever heard the police steps coming up my stairs to tell me they found his body, I let out a curdling scream. But, one thing? I was then grounded in Christ, and knowing my BJ was saved at 11 on 8/2/91, I never once asked, why? I knew why. He was sick and needed help he didn’t get. There is nothing worse than a parents pain in losing a child. Nothing!
I am always learning, studying, seeking, in the word. The Wierrsbe’s book, “Comforting the Bereaved”, and a chapter on Suicide, helped me tremendously. So did reading the word, and also C. S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity”. In it he wrote a chapter I have blogged here, “How does God Judge Us”. The link is on here below, and it is a very interesting analysis on our psyche, and how God created us in all of our infirmities too. Some like my son, through Chromosome 18, Bi-polar, others born with deafness, blind, or carry a gene that will lead to an illness later on in life. Parents have had to deal with this since eternity. I had a friend for years, a woman, Arlene, who had 3 children, but two girls of the 3 were born with down syndrome. Periodically, through the years, I would run into Arlene, and when the oldest was in her 40’s she was by then bad off and in a wheel chair. Arlene? She had more faith than any woman I ever saw. Once way back I visited her, and she had a sprained back, bedridden, like a top Lieutenant , had agencies there to take care of her girls, cook, (and for her husband), a Bible on her bed next to her and the phone book and a couple of Christian books. Arlene NEVER wavered. All these years I have thought of her repeatedly, and God would have me pray for her. We never know young, what we will have one day to endure. And I heard today on Faith, Hebrews 11. By Faith…Moses..by Faith..Noah built that ark…on and on….FAITH!
When I was at the charismatic church God put me in 1984, it was the time of an unbelievable move of God carried over from the 70’s into the 90’s. We had so many guest evangelists, and a church of over 4,000 at times. I was thrown down by the move of the Holy Spirit on that church carpet so many times…shaking in Holy Ghost power of the Lord dealing with me, sometimes healing. I was so hungry for Jesus. After one camp meeting, I was so drunk in the spirit of Christ, that I was shaking all the way home, (sometimes with the spirit of laughter-joy) and we were at church in lines until 1 AM. I remember having God translate me out of body in my sleep that night. I looked down to see the bed and room. I heard the whirring of the rushing Holy Spirit, like the wind Elijah experienced after his battle with Jezebel. I saw Benny Hinn, back then in Massachusetts 3 nights in a row. When he prayed with a coliseum of 25,000 born again Christians in the place, and when he said hush, you could hear a pin drop and there was a cloud over the ceiling in that place the Holy Spirit was so thick. All these tongue speaking praying Christians. What glory! Heaven is going to be filled with music and the Holy Ghost; if you can’t take the supernatural here? You won’t make it there.
But, my back in all those prayer lines and all my degenerative discs, and 40 years of sprains, and osteoporosis, pain, even being paralyzed and hospitalized, God never healed my back. He healed me home alone of my mini stroke, of asthma, with the most horrific allergies, and hay fever as a child. He healed me too of cancer not once but twice; an ovarian tumor 22 ctm. and stage 1 breast cancer from 2nd hand smoke. Healed! Eye surgeries, including a detached retina, healed. My back? Spine? As Jesus told Paul, “My grace is sufficient.” And that is what I have settled on.
I’ve even had a pastor way back, tell me I didn’t have enough faith. Oh yes I do! But I know God wants me humble. He is using me, in my old age, but, he does’t want me “puffed up” with pride, but, giving HIM ALL THE GLORY! (Proverbs, boast not thyself, but let another do it.) And that I do continually. I am nothing but a vessel. I only give you the reader, what God gives me. So recently I have watched John Ankerburg, Joni Erickson Tada, and Michael Easley. I cried. Who am I to complain, when this beautiful young woman, a quadraplegic totally crippled, dependent, yet a light of Jesus. So I thank you Lord, for keeping me going. Please play these videos..read the Biblical verses. If you are suffering, you are not alone. God loves you..You are earning many crowns, our mansions lie ahead.
Joni on Ankerburg:
James 1:2-4 Grace, Mercy, and Peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by GRACE are you saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8 For we have ALL sinned and come short of the Glory of God, etc.
Romans 8:18-28 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us…….Because the creature (Creation) itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the Children of God.
So be blessed and do not give up your faith, One day down…one day closer to Heaven…..Thank you Jesus. We don’t understand Gods ways, and whys..but, that is what FAITH is..the unseen. God Bless you all in need. I do hope this helps. Who am I to ever complain, when there are so many in far worse situations. If God can use them? He can use you and I, for we have no excuse….We are to glorify Jesus no matter what state we find ourselves..One day closer to Heaven. Blessings…
“If your not suffering, your not witnessing JESUS!” With this, that God poured out in me, has been such joy…unspeakable joy”.
(Artistis interpretation of Heaven as it will appear over Jerusalem, one day soon….from an “old” Evangelist magazine from the 80’s.)