Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving thanks in the struggles

Rejoice always! I say it again rejoice! These words can be hard to swallow when life is on a downward spiral and your loved ones are facing struggles. I was never one to handle suffering well until I gained an entirely new perspective. As I pondering these times from the past to the present I started to see a pattern particularly in our family dynamics. Now as a pastor I have to confess my family is far from perfect. My wife is always the one to keep us all together but with Multiple Sclerosis, we never quite know when the next flare may strike. This disease seems to have a mind of its own and though certain factors can attribute to a flare, we can't predict the timing until it's arrived. With the Thanksgiving season upon us, we have been reminded to give thanks even for the struggles. I am not totally there yet but as I see our family draw closer through the suffering, it takes on a new perspective. I won't say I rejoice as I witness the weakness in my dear wife's body but we can turn to God and allow his strength to permeate us. It's becoming more a blessing to see how God responds through his people as we care for one another and show love and support. Prayer is powerful and effective and the disease causes us to grow together and to slow down and be still, knowing that he is God. I pray as we each encounter suffering on various levels, we can find the peace and comfort it offers in our dependency on Christ and the body of Christ. Families praying together are healthier and stronger together. May we discover a new outlook on suffering and see Christ in all the remaining days of our lives. Be encouraged by the birth, death and resurrection of our Savior. In His suffering He took on our sins and gave us the greatest Thanksgiving gift ever; forgiveness.

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