Be kind, we don’t always know what someone is battling!

Small caring child embracing mother

Small caring child embracing mother

I know so many good people going through incredibly tough “stuff” right now.  Friends in their 40’s dealing with kidney failure, friends dealing with cancer and friends with kids with drug addictions, along with friends and family with kids with special needs. Then this week a friend that just went on a mission trip with us last month, lost their son. He leaves a wife and 2 small boys behind. A heartache and anguish that I pray to never understand.

It’s human or normal to think… why is this wonderful person or that amazing family going through what they are going through? In John chapter 9 the disciples saw a blind man, that had been blind since birth. They asked Jesus, who sinned (who messed up?) the man or his parents? Jesus replied, neither this man or his parents sinned. This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him! In that case Jesus went onto heal this man’s sight. We see examples like this in the bible of when people are super naturally healed. We also see many examples where they are not healed physically, but they are given the grace and strength to go through or deal with their circumstances.

Jesus, who had lived a perfect life, knew the brutal death he was about to experience. As he was praying he asked his Father “if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done.”  We know that cup was not taken from him, but what Luke chapter 22 tells us that after Jesus prayed that prayer an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.

Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians talks about a thorn in his flesh. We are never told what that was, but we know at times it effected his ability to do the work he was called to do. Here is a portion of him talking about that, out of the message bible:

so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. (Wow, do I understand that… have you ever been there, so distraught you were brought to your knees, pleading with God? The powerful part of that is when you push a Christian to their knees, they are often going to come up stronger!)

No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.  My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” 

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.

In Mark chapter 4 the disciples had gotten in a boat along with Jesus. A terrible storm came up out of nowhere while Jesus was sleeping. The disciples fearing for their lives woke Jesus up, in full panic mode. Jesus got up, told the wind and the waves “Quiet! Be still!” and immediately everything calmed down. (In my bible notes it says: When a squall approaches, lean into the wind and trust God!)

There are many reasons why you and I along with others around us will go through illnesses, injuries, trials that seem so unfair and losses that seem unbearable.  We may see God’s hand on the other side of it, we may be able to help and encourage others with our experiences, it may be to put us on a different path… or we may never know or understand on this side of heaven.  But if we are in the boat with Jesus, we must trust Him! We have to believe He is either going to calm the storm or He’s going to calm us, to give us the strength and the grace to endure the storm!

Exodus 14:14 (NLT) The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm!

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