When Suffering Strikes

his hand grew tired and froze to the sword….(2 Sa 23:10).

A number of years ago deep suffering entered my life. Prior to this time, I had a relationship with God, but not one of deep abiding. Not like I do now. Suffering brought me to a place of utter desperation for more of God in my life. I can recall many mornings feelings as though I was clinging to God’s word for dear life. The promises of scripture had to become like water to my soul. I’m not sure I would have made it without them.

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Suffering brought me to a place of deep desperation. The kind where the soul feels as though it is being tossed about in the ocean. The kind of hardship that hits the core of your being and seeks to destroy your very sanity. We all experience these moments. The loss of a child, a health scare, a death, an unmet hope, dream or expectation. Suffering holds many shapes and sizes. Many circumstances can arise in our life, thrusting us into deep waters.

Your story is your own. Your suffering is what you are walking through. Sitting with someone in their suffering can be the greatest gift we can give to them. Dismissing someone’s suffering can be one of the cruelest ways we can treat a person. Oh Lord, forgive me for my lack of compassion for hurting people.

In my time of suffering God had to become the most real thing in my life. I had to find Him. There was something about Him that I had to know that I had not known previously. The suffering son of God had to become my greatest delight. Otherwise, bitterness, resentment, anger and the like were sure to find residency in my heart.

In 2 Samuel 23, while in battle Eleazar grew tired in battle, but his hand clung to the sword and the Lord brought about a great victory. Many of us will grow tired and weary in battle. Yet, he did not give up, for his hand froze to the sword. Could it be that we have lost some spiritual battles in our lives because we have not clung to the sword of the Spirit? Which is the word of God?

Could it be that suffering has presented itself in our lives as a gift from the Almighty to make us more like His Son? I know it seems backward, but would we cling to Hm without it? I do not believe God is purposefully bringing suffering into our lives to force our hand to follow Him. Suffering is a necessary result of living in a world where there is sin. God is actively using it for His and our good. If we would but cling to Him for dear life we would find what is true of Him to be sufficient for our heavy, burdened souls as He lifts us from the pit and sets us in a spacious place of His love.

Jesus, sometimes this journey is hard. You know that. You experienced a grave amount of suffering, so much so that you lost your own life. I am weak, but in you I am strong. You grace meets me in the places of deep waters. Jesus, be my greatest joy. Be the light of my life. Thank you for your word that speaks truth into my heart, in Jesus name, Amen!

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