Friday, September 30, 2011
DOWN ON MY KNEES AGAIN
In former devotions, I have talked about his very rare birth defect that has given him a set of challenges which none of us reading this have ever experienced. One issue he is fighting right now is seizures. He suffered from a serious bout with them in the past and all of us had hoped this would be the end of it for a time. For a while, that was true. Then, suddenly several weeks ago, he began to experience a different type of seizure and thus far, no medication has completely controlled it. As a family, we are praying for the doctors to have wisdom in helping to find a solution.
Of course, the classic example of someone who seemed to go through a mountain of suffering was Job. We all know his story and how in a very short time, he went from being a wealthy, healthy, happy man to one who lost his wealth, his children and his health in a short period of time. He was devastated. God revealed to us as readers what Job could not see behind the scenes. It was Satan who wanted to test Job to prove to God that he would curse God. However, the Lord knew that Job had a heart for Him.
During all the calamity, his own wife came to Job and said to him: "'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.' But he said to her, 'You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?' In all this Job did not sin with his lips" (Job 2:9a-10).
One thing both Paul and Job did that is important for us. They prayed. This is where I find myself daily. When one of our family members is hurting, all of us hurt. So once again, I find myself on my knees in deep intercession for a little boy who, in not quite four years, has seen the hospital more than most of us ever see in one lifetime. Yet, the smile he wears is a gift from God that touches deep into my soul. I wish I had the answers, and maybe some of you are struggling in the same way with different challenges in your family or personal life. Suffering of any sort takes a toll on us physically, spiritually and mentally. This is when we need to pray as both Paul and Job did. They both had a reply from God. It isn't necessarily what they wanted to hear, but they found peace in His presence and assurance of His sovereignty over their lives. They were able to praise Him in the storms of life knowing that He held them in the hollow of His hand.
Finally, the greatest example of one who learned to suffer and follow the will of His Father was our Lord Jesus Christ. He also bent His knees in prayer again and asked if there was any way for the cup to pass Him by; yet, He yielded His life into the Father's hands. From Him, we have a lesson worth noting.
As we walk day to day, we need to think on the words of St Augustine: "God had one Son on earth without sin, but never One without suffering." We are not greater than our Master. He suffered and told us that we would face tribulations as well. Therefore, let us gird ourselves in prayer. Let us fall before our Father who knows the beginning from the end of all things. He is able to take that which is meant for evil and turn it for good in the lives of those who love Him. Let us look to Him for guidance, wisdom and strength each day. Selah!
P.S. I appreciate your prayers for our little grandson Branson and his parents Reid and Jessica as well as his brothers. This has been a stressful time for the family. Thank you all!
I welcome your comments and insights. May the Lord bless you with encouragement as you read here today.