John 11: 1    “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha . . .”

Jesus had a special friendship with Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus (which means God’s helper). He didn’t drop everything and run to them immediately but stayed in the place where he was for two days, then he went back to Judea much to the consternation of his disciples who reminded him that the Jews had tried to stone him there. Jesus had his own perfect timing as does his Father and he had a plan that would end up bringing God glory. He knew what would happen to Lazarus and that Mary and Martha’s faith and trust would be increased along with many others when he raised Lazarus from the dead.

We might assume that IF God really loves us, our lives would be free from pain, whether physical or emotional. We also might grow impatient with Him when our prayers aren’t immediately answered the way we think they should be. If we pray for healing according to his will, shouldn’t we or whoever we are praying for be healed? I think most mature Christians know that God’s ways are higher than ours and his timing isn’t ours. He sees the big picture and holds all the pieces of the puzzle of life, we only see our tiny part of His big plan. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

In Pastor Ryan Lunde’s message a couple of weekends ago he said, “How else will you experience God’s comfort if you are not hurting?”  He also said, “Hurting is a powerful opportunity to trust.”  And trusting through hardship or pain grows our faith, doesn’t it? However, no one seeks pain or wants to deal with it, I know I don’t!

Some have experienced more pain than others, but when you reflect on those times can you see how your faith grew stronger, how God was glorified, and how you matured in your Christian walk?

I think God uses certain painful times that we go through to give us more compassion and empathy for people down the road we might then be able to help through a hard time. Having cancer gave me many opportunities and still does to minister to people who are going through a serious illness. To listen to, pray with and encourage them is a privilege. It’s also resulted in some very special friendships. I’m so grateful for those opportunities and friendships though cancer was a sometimes painful and scary journey.  My faith and trust in His plan carried me through the hard times, God comforted me and gave me special peace.

If you are hurting in any way, we are here to help you walk the rocky path you find yourself on. You can email [email protected] or call the church and ask to speak to the Pastor on Duty or our Care & Counseling Department. We have many good listeners and we are here for you!.

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

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