Suffering in Strengthening

You will be secure because there is hope; you will look about you and take rest in your safety.

-Job 11:18

I would like to share with you a very special encounter I had this morning with someone who is very unlikely to make it past the weekend.

I won’t go into detail, but this person was suffering greatly in their body and chronically suffers from memory loss. As I approached them, I could hear them saying things that would otherwise not be uttered unless they were standing face-to-face with Jesus, Himself.

“Yes, Lord, I will. Thank you, Jesus.” As they spoke these words, I was able to catch a small glimpse of heaven. Do you see Him?” they asked me. “See who?” I replied back. (I knew Who they were referring to, but I was curious to know more about Who they were seeing). “The Man,” they answered, “He’s standing at the door.”

It’s absolutely amazing how a person who suffers from chronic memory loss, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, can still recall who the Lord is. Their memory of life events and people may be faint, but their memory of Jesus and what He’s done for them is still present. They can remember His faithfulness even when they’re facing physical opposition.

Is it possible that the ones who choose to make eternal investments in this life are more likely to recall the Lord’s faithfulness when they’ve become physically incapable? Could all of the spiritual disciplines they’ve made in the past (bible memorization, hymn singing, devoted time to prayer, etc) be what jogs their memory?

The problem is not that God is distant during our suffering, but we can easily distance ourselves from Him unless we build a strong foundation on His Word.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I’ve been learning, especially over the past week; suffering and strength go hand in hand. It’s not a requirement to suffer in order to receive strength, but it is extremely  powerful to receive strength in our weakness. We begin to see the Lord working through us in the depths of our sorrow and pain.

As we recognize His strength is made perfect in weakness, we then realize how much we desperately need to rely on the Lord—to meet each and every need. This is where faith comes in, and why prayer is so important in our spiritual progress. I will go more into detail specifically about prayer in another blog post––so stay tuned for that.

To end on an encouraging note; a dear friend and I have been making our own “eternal investments” by spending time in prayer together each day. We’ve decided as a part of our growth in the Lord, we need to make prayer a priority. As we diligently seek His face, we bring our burdens to the Lord in prayer and surrender each of our desires to Him. This special time devoted to prayer has strengthened our relationship with Christ and with each other as sisters in the Lord.

What eternal investments are you making in your life right now? Are there specific passages of scripture you’d like to memorize so that in the midst of suffering you can easily recall these truths to mind?



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