Never Alone


A loving mom’s prayerful watch over her sick child in bed…. Does it tug at your heart the way it does mine? This last week, I saw something just as powerfully loving – Joyce nursing her mom back to health. Her mother has undergone major surgery and Joyce has had the great honor of aiding in her recovery. Her mom is a gracious, godly woman whose suffering only serves to deepen her faith-encounters with the God who loves her. Her character and love are being perfected in the fire of personal pain.

No one escapes planet earth without sampling the bitter taste of suffering. The rain truly falls on the “just and unjust.” * And, as Job discovered, “man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” * Jesus promised that “in the world you will have tribulation . . .”

I have studied the scriptures and skidded off the road a time or two; and I am convinced that Jesus is not a preventer. There are some who would have you believe that Jesus is an airbag to cushion all your sudden stops, a parachute when you fall from high places, a guardrail when you take a corner on two wheels, Zycam when someone sneezes on you. In reality, he is not always the preventer. Scripture does not describe Jesus as One who attentively labors to prevent all pain and suffering. He is presented to us, more importantly, not as a preventer, but as the Redeemer.

Jesus did not prevent his own suffering. The only man in human history who did not deserve to suffer could have called down a legion of angels for protection. But he was paying a debt that he did not owe. The debt was yours and mine. His own suffering, the greatest ever experienced, came for the purpose of redeeming humankind from the self-destructive nature of sin and for the defeat of death itself. Sin no longer has the victory and death holds no threat for those who are in Christ Jesus.* Pain is redeemed for glory in eternity and suffering leads to the restoration of the character of Christ in human personality.

And now, as our Redeemer, we are assured that Jesus . . .

will never leave us or forsake us.
will use our pain to create an “eternal weight of glory” as He prepares us for our eternal home.
will perfect our ability to love and care for others who suffer.

One thing I know for sure: Those who have not suffered much cannot love much.

C.S. Lewis wrote, ”Why love if losing hurts so much? We love to know that we are not alone.” And further, we love because God first loved us.

Loving a little more each day,
*Matthew 5:45; John 5:7; John 16:33; I Corinthians 15:53-57

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