Could My Suffering be God’s Mercy on me??? I know what you’re thinking, “whaaaaat”??? Cause that’s the same thing I thought when I first heard it. Today my mom and I were talking and she told me that in her time with God this morning she said she was thanking Him for having mercy on us by letting us suffer… I didn’t quite understand what she meant so I asked her. She said how the suffering we have been going through has helped us stay on our knees seeking God and depending on Him. She said that maybe if we weren’t going through these trials that maybe the temptations of the world would snatch us up and draw us away from God…. Then I got it!!! “Oh!!! Maybe suffering is a strange form of mercy” and I felt a gratitude in my heart for growing closer to the Lord these past few years that I’ve been disabled and bedridden. It has kept me looking to Him instead of looking at the things of this world.
The last several years I’ve seen many friends and acquaintances fall away from the Lord. People who grew up knowing Jesus. People who were on fire for the Lord. People I used to have deep discussions with as we talked about how amazing the Lord is. It’s not like one day they woke up and were like “I think I want to turn away from the Lord today.” No… it was slowly over time. It wasn’t because they wanted to turn away from God, it was because they wanted the pleasures and temptations of the world around them. Whatever their sins were that they struggled, whether out loud or deep within their heart, they kept choosing those sins slowly over time. And slowly over time, Satan was able to tempt them with the “lusts of the world.”
Satan does this to us all, all of the time. He knows that he can’t just get us to fall away from Christ by saying “Hey, why don’t you become a Satanist today?? Why don’t’ you turn away from your faith today??” LOL, that doesn’t work on anyone! It’s slowly and deceptively that he tempts us, to slowly choose our flesh, because he knows it will slowly pull us away from an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Over 3 ½ years ago I was in a car accident that gave me a severe brain injury. Soon after that I discovered I also had 2 debilitating diseases . This put me in a wheelchair and made me bedridden. The only time I left my bed was to go to the bathroom or go to the doctors. Other than that I’ve been in pain every day and have to constantly lay down, cause if I sit up for too long I pass out from the P.O.T.S. Of course there are many many more symptoms I battle on a daily basis but it’s a bit boring for me to go into all of that! The point is, that these last few years may have been some of the hardest years, but they’ve also been some of the most beautiful years of my life. Why??? Well though my flesh (literally) has suffered deeply, my Spirit has only drawn closer to the Lord. It’s interesting how sometimes we can feel God the closest in the darkest times of our lives. God is ALWAYS near and He always wants us to have a deep personal relationship with Him. But the busyness of life, the pleasures of the world, the distractions, the ambitions, the goals we set, these all can keep us from the potential we have of growing deeper in the Lord.
I’m not saying we don’t love Him or seek Him when things are going great in our lives. We often do!!! But for some reason, when a trial hits us and something we treasure is taken from us, we fall on our faces before God. Finally God gets to sit on the throne in our hearts instead of the idols we might have on the throne … it seems whenever a hardship hit me, God showed me that the thing I was grieving often was an idol in my life that I was unaware of. But when those idols disappoint us, whether it be people, work, school, success, romance, family, friends or riches; we finally realize that only God can be our God! God and He alone should be where we find our value, our identity, our purpose, our fulfillment. Yes, God gives us those other things I just listed in our lives as blessings, but that is all they should be. Blessings from God. They should never become too important to us. They should never become our security. I think all of those things listed above had become my security, self esteem/identity, or my number one love, at some point in my life, instead of the Lord.
It wasn’t by my choice that I had these idols exposed to me. It wasn’t until I lost them that I realized that they were too important to me. I’ve lost friends and family members that I had on high pedestals who betrayed me, or fell away from God, or rejected me. Now that I’m flat on my back with these diseases and T.B.I., I can’t work a job, or finish my degree. It’s not by my choice, but once I lost my career and the ability to go to college, I saw they were too important to me. I found some of my self esteem and self worth through those things instead of finding it in God alone. With no income and high medical bills I’ve lost all riches and have had to completely rely on the Lord to provide for my bills, and He has!! I realize that I found some security in money and I still battle finding security in money instead of trusting God to provide what I need. There were times after breaking up with boyfriends I would realize that I found some of my self esteem in them, or that they became too important to me. I want God to be my first love always and forever, and sometimes we don’t realize He isn’t our first love until the thing that actually IS our first love is taken from us.
But when the rug of life is pulled out from underneath us and we land on our faces before the Lord, well this can be a mercy in disguise. Who am I to think that I am so strong in the Lord that I can’t fall away???!!! Of course I can fall away. Pride comes before the fall!!! (Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.) I love the Lord, I truly do, I always have, ever since I was a little girl. I was so lucky to be raised with strong believers as parents who taught me about the Lord. I met Jesus at a young age and grew up seeing God’s faithfulness and love. God is so amazing, it would be hard not to love Him (that is if you really know His character and who He really is). But just because I love him doesn’t mean I cant fall away.Scripture declares that “if possible even the elect will fall away.” (1 Timothy 4:1 Mathew 24:24 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
Many, including myself, have wondered that if God is going to heal me of my diseases why is He waiting??? Why is He taking soooo long to heal me??? Why doesn’t He just snap His fingers and fix me right away. But maybe if He did that He knows that I would go back to my busy life and things that should not be idols in my life could become idols again… maybe I would be deceived into slowly giving into my flesh over and over and over for days and months and years until finally God is not near to me anymore. Until I had driven a wedge between the intimacy I have with the Lord.
What if God sees that those things would happen so He has decided to “have mercy” on me and NOT heal me right away to protect me from those scenarios. If this is the case than I don’t care if God never heals me… I mean of course that would be difficult, but I would rather be sick the rest of my life and keep God on the throne of my heart, than to be healed right now but not be as close to the Lord…. Or even possibly fall away from the Lord.
“Father, please have mercy on me and keep me close to you. If it takes trials and suffering to do this then have mercy on me and DON”T take away the trials in my life. If these things bring me closer to you, if this suffering puts you first in my life then I will gladly choose that. If this is part of why you have been healing me slowly then I thank you for healing me slowly. And even if this is not the reason, I still trust your timing and purposes for NOT miraculously healing me.”This is the prayer I now say with gratitude in my heart.
It saddens me as I continue to hear of more and more strong believers that have chosen to follow the world and are slowly falling away from God. We don’t often realize that our sin separates us from God. (Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.) I thank God for having mercy on me. And I pray that He continues to have Mercy on me and brings me closer and closer to Him, even if it takes suffering to do that, then so be it.
I don’t’ know what you’re going through right now in life. I don’t know what YOUR personal suffering is, and I don’t know the reason WHY God is allowing it to happen in your life. But I do believe that God is more loving than we can possibly imagine. The scriptures say that GOD IS love. So if He is loving enough to leave His throne in heaven, come down to earth, be tortured and die on a cross, all so that we could escape hell and spend eternity with Him, well if that God is allowing you to go through this suffering then there has to be a reason why. I believe God’s heart breaks as He sees us go through these trials. But sometimes He doesn’t stop it because He sees how it affects the bigger picture in the grand scheme of things.
Wherever you’re at in life, I am sorry for the suffering you’re going through. God will be with you through every moment of these hardships. You may not always “feel” him there, but He is. He’s there, crying with you, hugging you, holding you, listening to you, and speaking to you in all sorts of ways.
My hope is that as we realize that maybe suffering can be God’s mercy on us, that we wouldn’t dread and hate and complain about the difficulties we’re facing, but we would be joyful in suffering as scripture tells us.
As always if you need a friend to talk to or pray for you you can always message me on fb at facebook.com//rachelchamplin. I may take awhile to get back to you since I often need help reading and writing “due to my vision problems” but I will pray and I will eventually get back to you .
God bless you my fellow soldiers!!! You’re doing awesome, hang in there, there is good that will be brought out of all of this.