Suffering is a part of everyone’s life. Like you, I’ve had my fair share. While my spirit wants to be more like Jesus, my flesh wants nothing to do with this painful process because it’s taxing and doesn’t feel good.
Struggling with chronic ill-health for over a decade has been hard.
Losing our business has been hard.
Losing our home and moving 4 times in 18 months has been hard.
Getting cut out of my family’s inheritance has been hard.
Living in a constant state of financial uncertainty has been hard.
Another round of new health treatments to keep cancer at bay has been hard.
Getting attacked and persecuted for bringing a biblical message of womanhood and wifehood to the 21st-century woman has been hard.
So by the time I heard the news about my son, my faith was depleted. Just that afternoon my husband and I were talking about our recent storms and he said to me, spiritually speaking are you at, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief?”
Without hesitating, I said I wasn’t even at, I believe.
I was weary and wounded by all the constant trials we were living in so when we got the call later that night about my son, my faith (or lack thereof) was pushed beyond its limits. And the last thing I wanted to hear from other believers was that Joseph went to jail too and look what God did in his life. I didn’t care one iota about Joseph’s life, I cared about my son’s life.
Within minutes of hearing this news, the mama heart within me grew numb.
There was no strength left within me to have faith that all would turn out fine because I knew full well that not every trial you live through has a happily ever after ending with a nice neat bow wrapped around it.
Will the situation work out for good? Yes. Romans 8:28 says so. But no person I know says they’d like to experience more trials and sufferings because it produces godly character. As frail human beings, we don’t instinctively raise our hands to get enlisted in the Suffering Ministry. We get drafted.
During that seven-day period when my son was locked up in jail with murderers and rapists, all because he defended himself, I felt absolutely abandoned by God. Although, in my mind, I knew spiritually this was incorrect doctrine. Day and night, I would call out to God for some type of comfort from Him.
My heart would plead to just feel His presence in this storm or to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. But no words came.
And then my mind would race back and forth flipping the pages of the Old Testament to the New hoping and longing for a verse to cling to, but none brought me comfort.
While the Psalmist David uttered these words long ago, it’s as if I could have written them myself.
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. Psalm 22:1,2 NLT
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. Psalm 22:15
In my seeking of Him and His strength, I found Him in an unusual place; the body of Christ.
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Psalm 105:4
One day I finally heard the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit tell me,
Daughter, go to your people and ask them to pray for you.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:10
Every human being faces struggles, loss, injustices, financial uncertainty, difficult relationships, and the messiness of life. But, as Christ-followers, we have the Holy Spirit teaching us, guiding us, and comforting us. Sometimes that comfort comes straight from God’s Word, other times the Lord will intervene on our behalf by utilizing His family, the body of Christ, to minister to us.
As the Body, we’re to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) but we can’t do that if we put on a mask and pretend that everything is fine when everything is not fine because we’re more concerned with portraying a perfect life than a real life in need of Jesus Christ.
Sure it takes boldness and vulnerability to share your messy life with others but the other option is to do life alone or go through life in your own strength. The latter option will not bring you closer to Christ, nor will you receive the support or comfort you need when life gets painful.
Jesus carried me through my recent storm by using you. All I did was tell you my need and ask you to pray for me. Asking for help is a simple step that anyone Christ-follower can and should take.
Yes, you might get judged or criticized. I was. People emailed me back and condemned me for being fearful and faithless in my trial. Another woman decided to publicly shame me on my facebook page. Keep in mind these responses came from those I minister to and those who call themselves Christians. So yes, sadly there is a risk of asking the body of Christ for help in your time of need.
But there is also a great reward and I’ll take the reward over the risk every day of my life. And I hope you’ll do the same. God designed the body of Christ to do many things and one of those things is to pray for one another.
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
Be brave and turn to them in your time of need.
Be brave and connect with another believer by reaching out to them first.
Be brave and minister to them when they need you even when your life is less than perfect because no one’s life is perfect.
I had an army of believers praying for my son and his situation and because of this I firmly believe that’s why we had such a miraculous outcome. Our lawyer, the District Attorney, and even the Judge were all stunned by the case as well as the outcome.
Christ is smack dab in the middle of the body of Christ and within this living organism is tremendous power and strength. Tap into His strength because we’re not meant to do life in our own strength.
Live a poured out life for Christ,