"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trials and Suffering

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

1 Corinthians 1:3-7

I have been meaning to write this post for some time now but felt I could not convey my sentiments properly with words. Imperfect as it is, I will try.

It’s easy during trials and suffering to find oneself remembering all the hardship. The fearful thoughts, scary moments, and pain. During this trying time, there were so many mercies, so much of God’s kindness we must always remember what He’s done for us. This is my attempt to do so. We have been comforted with such an overwhelming love and we know that comes from a love that runs much deeper. A love that roots itself in the greatest love of all—In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

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After discovering my husband was injured in a major car accident recently, I frantically dropped off all 4 of our boys with very gracious friends who were willing to care for them at 7:30am, not knowing when I would be back. Thoughts were running through my head as I quickly raced to the hospital where they my husband was being treated. All I had known at that point was that his car was totaled and he had a head injury. As I was driving, I kept thinking, “what if this injury is life threatening?”, “how will I raise 4 boys alone?”, “what will I do without my best friend?”. I called our parents to let them know the little I had known and to keep my mind from these thoughts. And then, a moment of God’s kindness for my doubting, trust-lacking, fearful heart. A dear sweet friend, who was made aware of what happened, texted me 1 Peter 5:7, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  Thank you Jesus for this kind reminder. And it would be my theme, peace and comfort through our struggle.

Later, in the ER, while waiting CAT scans, and chest scan results, a young hospital staff member walks into Ian’s room. She asks what we may need and proceeds to care for Ian’s wounds and needs. I was there the whole time, holding his hand, looking into his eyes, rubbing his feet, whatever I could do to comfort him. And then, a moment of laughter, God’s gentleness with us. She asks “are you guys dating?”. Ian and I look directly at each other and laugh hysterically. Do we really appear that in love? Are we really that affectionate with each other right now? “No” I kindly say. “We’ve been married for 12 years”. We still laugh about that.

At home, one morning I was feeling completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with my own emotions, overwhelmed caring for my husbands emotions, physical needs and wound care, overwhelmed keeping my 4 rowdy boys quiet and still for their aching father, overwhelmed by the outpour of love and calls from friends and family. Just overwhelmed. And then, a moment of peace and comfort from God as a dear friend, who was halfway around the world, picking up her adopted children from Africa, emails me to say she was praying for us. A friend who had been waiting for months and months to go and get her children. A friend who had given everything to adopt children she did not know but loved already. A friend who was in the middle of a country full of poverty, need, sickness and suffering. And she was praying for us! God’s love to give us a small glimpse of His perspective.

So many. The stories could go on and on. Friends who loved us so well. Friends who gave up their days to watch our boys so we could check up with doctors. Friends who made and delivered yummy meals so I wouldn’t have to be busy with food. Friends who loved on our children by taking them to museums, the circus, the pool and movies. Friends who brought us cookie and fruit bouquets and gift baskets of goodies to amuse the boys. Amazing. God’s love causes His people to do amazing things and we are so grateful to be witnesses of that! It’s been almost a 3 week journey and we are still praying for healing and relief but we can’t help but sit back and rest in His comfort, care and provision lavished on us through His people!

Love you friends and family!

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