Great suffering brings great graces. Those words are etched permanently in my soul. It is those who have walked the path of suffering with Jesus at their side, that those words hold a treasured meaning. I, a sojourner on the path can assent that those words true. I also can encourage you with the blessed assurance that when we are too weary, He carries us.
I tell the woman I speak to that Jesus will walk on the water to rescue out of your sinking boat. Then He will pick you up and carry you on His back safely to shore. Jesus loves us that much.
Suffering is a time of intimacy with our Savior. Mother Teresa shares, “It is when standing at the foot of the cross where we feel so close to Jesus that we can kiss Him.”
I am going to be honest with you, no matter what cross I stand at the foot of; I always start out complaining. It is only after He parts the waves that I feel I am drowning in, that I begin to see Him clearly. He comes towards me walking on the water. Many times God has drawn me apart from life as I knew it. He takes away all that was familiar, so I can learn to depend on Him alone.
I recently wrote a devotional book with the title, In God Alone I Place My Trust. In the book, I wrote about each woman in the bible and why God chose them. I emphasize how they put their trust in God alone. This devotional, written under the anointing of Holy Spirit, is intended to be healing words for the suffering souls.
St Teresa of Avila said when she fell off her horse and buggy, “Jesus, if this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them?” It is times like these that we learn to lean on Jesus to pick us up when we fall down.
Suffering is a time that we call out to Jesus from the depth of our soul, like a child who is hurting and afraid. Suffering is a time when we seek him with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength, with wailing and with tears. Before unbearable suffering knocked on my door, I would try to pray it away. I have learned that there are some sufferings that no matter how hard we pray; they remain. I have learned to lean on the mighty strength of my Heavenly Father and rest in His arms. I place my trust in Him knowing that He will not test me beyond what I can handle. I know that my Heavenly Father is bigger than my trial. I know that He will always take care of me.
Miracles happen so I pray for a miracle. I learned a really long time ago that if it depends on me, I will surely fail. I have found that self dependency opens the door to discouragement. It is not about my faith or me, it is Christ in me, my hope of glory. Lastly, it is on thorn-strewn path that I have been most assured that if He said it, He will surely do it. He is God alone. I am assured that He is faithful to His promises, all of them.
In ministry since 1979, I have learned a few things too. I learned that ministry is a lonely place, at times. Those who God calls as His disciples, He also allows to join in His suffering. It is in this place of great suffering which God brings forth great graces. It is those who take His nail scarred hand each day and embrace the cross presented, that He uses to glorify Him. Keep on doing what is right, and in due season you will reap a harvest. These words are forever before me.
“The harvest is now ripe but the workers are few. “ God is looking for people who have given their “Surrender Yes!” Will the surrender yes cost you anything? My friend, my sister, it will cost you everything. It cost Mary everything. It cost Joseph everything. It cost Paul everything. It cost Jesus everything. It will cost you everything.” Those who do not walk away, most likely are called to do ministry. Study the lives of the disciples.
Deacon Pat and I have weathered a storm or two. We have stayed the course. We have watched miracles happen. We have served the Lord in season and out of season. When Patrick became a Deacon the word the Lord gave me was of all things from a Dr. Susess book, Oh the Places You Will Go. It totally made sense to me. I could not wait to travel new territory.
I have since learned that the journey is in the heart. It is in the heart where God alone resides. He works in secret, changing us into the likeness of His son Jesus Christ. As we empty our hearts of sin, we make room to let more of Jesus in.
God is knocking on the hearts of many. Who will open the door to His grace? Who will choose to journey alone with God? May our hearts cry be, “His way, His will, His timing. Jesus is Lord. May God be glorified in all we do!”
If the road leads to suffering, be not afraid. The same God who called you to be His own will never leave you nor forsake you until you arrive in your Heavenly home. Listen for His still small voice guiding and protecting you. Place your trust in Him alone. He will never fail you.