God my Creator brings me comfort through His creation!
Took my coveted walk through the fall woods this week. So much beauty on a trail created a few hundred years ago! Osage orange trees line the walk to the Wye River. Early settlers used this trail to buy and sell goods ferried to and from Baltimore and Annapolis. Now it is a barely used, oft forgotten by-way only enjoyed by nature lovers.
The short trail was long and painful for my loved one.
These days are full of pain and sorrow for both of us — a year out from the cancer diagnosis. Nothing will ever be the same for us in this life. Cancer surgery was brutal. We will likely not grow old together.
Yet creation and the Creator cheer us on. Mad chaos did not reign for millions of years. We’re not creatures of time and chance. And God didn’t create this pain, suffering, and death.
The doctrine of creation, original sin, and the fall of man gives us hope. WHY?
Just as surely as God proclaimed judgments of pain, suffering, and death on those who ruined His beautiful, perfect creation — so surely He promised redemption and mercy!
As caregivers for the chronically ill, we see pain and suffering almost every single day.
If you live with it, you feel its reality like the twisting of a knife! Knowing suffering is a temporary curse for those who love God heals those wounds.
If you believe and have this amazing faith that you are part of some cosmic accident, then there is no hope in your future.
Nothing really matters.
Suffering is all the more brutal when you believe that you should just eat, drink, and be merry — you’re gonna die anyways. The Grim Reaper gets us all. True!
That old serpent the Devil would have you believe that this is all there is to life. He fools millions into eternal Death.
He’s hungry for the souls of men. He’s fat with the slaughter and destruction and death all around us.
Just as God served up justice on the ruination of His beauty and good work in the Garden, so He is faithfully redeeming His fallen creatures who call upon Him.
“Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. Truly the hour IS COMING and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live…
Do not marvel at this.
For the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come out — those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:24-29
The cycles of the seasons remind me that death and rebirth — new life in Christ, is the grand drama of His triumph over Satan and original sin. “It is not death to die, to leave this weary world…”
Our sin is no match for His abundant pardon and grace!
Praying His grace will triumph in your life and mine this week on our journey Home.
Joy unspeakable at the journey’s end…
Ever feel like you are down in a deep mud pit and cannot seem to climb out? When I spoke to my friend, faithful spouse of a chronically ill husband until his death, about guest posting for me, she…
Source: Attitude Adjustment: Week 15
” Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” ( I Peter 4:16)
Care-giving spouses , those who are true believers, are committed to their marriages. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that marriage is under assault. Someone I know recently lost their marriage due to their own chronic illness. The media messages bombard us with thoughts that “you deserve better”, “life is what you make it”, and “make your own happiness” regardless of whom you trample on along the way.
Eleven-plus years of marriage to an unemployed, chronically ill man whose illnesses are painful, discouraging, and demoralizing is not what I signed up for! But when Christ called me out of darkness into His marvelous loving light, I received love I didn’t deserve and forgiveness I could never repay. In my marriage, I have an every single day opportunity to love without repayment.
I could abandon my marriage and probably find fun, fulfillment, and lots of the “pleasures of sin” for a season. But I know this truth; you reap what you sow (eventually, if not in this life, in eternity for certain). Temporary pleasures vs. eternal rewards? Seems like a no-brainer to me. Easy? Fun? Not by a long shot! There are certainly days when I wonder how much longer I can do this, days when I just don’t want to do this at all, anymore, or ever again!
When you are tempted to look elsewhere for joy, companionship, and just a bit of normal, marital fun, remember Who has promised never to leave or or forsake His own. Maybe we wives of the chronically ill will show this mixed up world what true love looks like. Maybe they will see in our every day commitment the covenant love that God has promised His own down the the annals of history.
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 5:10-11)
“The last judgment will be a judgment that will bring joy to all true believers. They will hear those precious words, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom;’ ”
J. C. Ryle
Recently, and not for the first time either, I was grilled by a church member about my husband’s health. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt, and say they were making well-meaning inquiries. However, the specifity of the questioning, such as — “how many hours is he in pain a day?” — followed by the comment, “but he looks so good” (which many, many chronically ill people hear with great frequency), gave me reason to doubt his motives. This man was digging for information and not making a helpful inquiry. It has happened before. It will happen again.
Walking around your church are chronically ill friends. Unlike a cancer diagnosis, symptoms may be confusing and irregular. Autoimmune diseases can go into temporary remission and lay low for a while. Or a treatment may provide regular relief. But individuals are like snowflakes with no two alike. And sometimes, even their disease can behave differently for a time. What you as a friend need to do is listen, pray, and believe your friend when they tell you they have miserable pain or their immune system is really wiped out at the time.
Don’t be a chronic “investigator” or “commentator”. While you may hear of a potentially helpful treatment, feel free to mention it. Please don’t be offended if your friend doesn’t choose to try it. You have no idea how many treatments or diet plans they have tried in the past, and it is NOT your job to make sure they try yours.
While a chronically ill friend may look good, be assured they went to special effort to do so. My husband loads up on pain meds to be able to travel and fellowship with our church family, and especially to enjoy the means of grace. I do most of the driving so that he can relax and try to enjoy the day. He is a people person and is enlivened by great fellowship. I am the one who gets to see his “poopy” side and the crashes that often happen after travels.
As the wife of a chronically ill husband, I do not want to have to deal with detailed questions from people who are not my closest friends. Most often I will answer general questions generally. I very much appreciate those who do ask how we are doing and quite simply state they are praying for us.