Over the past weeks as I have risen in the small hours of the morning with a mind that will not still, one of the places I have found solace is in re-reading the words of encouragement of my friends. Tonight I struggled through one fear after another as Friday’s surgery looms ever closer. What if this? And what if that? have fought for control over my mind, and I have wrestled to take every thought captive knowing that Satan will do anything to drive me to the despair on whose brink I hover. Running to the Word and to the Word preached to me by friends has truly been my sword as I battle Satan’s fiery darts.
As I pray, I also pray for friends (many who read this blog), some of whom have been suffering far longer than I with chronic pain, fear, and illnesses. So today, I share with you words that that have been written to me in hopes that you will all know the encouragement I have known.
May you be blessed with these notes from my inbox:
“I know very little…..only that He is who is He says He is. His love and power is so much more than we can comprehend. “
“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
(Psalm 130: 5-7)”
“Had He not taken on human form, can you imagine?…His care would stop at sympathy not empathy where He is there with you in the pain and the fear.”
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in HOPE of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverence; and perseverance, character; and character, HOPE. Now HOPE does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
“Yes, He is with you and is your comfort as you walk through this valley of the shadow of death.”
“I know He is able. I know that He worked, through His Spirit, in you this morning. I know that you were not alone. I know that He had many people praying with you and that you were surrounded… I will pray for your heart as you wait. I will pray that you and Brian will get to grow old together. I will pray that there will be hundreds more times of dancing together.”
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels.’” (Malachi 3:16-17)
“You are not a distant God that cannot sympathize with Your people but You are our Father, who is forever faithful, forever strong, and forever for us. If God is for us, who can be against us right? Thank you Jesus for your ultimate sacrifice of dying on the cross and bearing our sins. Thank you for your grace and mercy always.”
“You, too, may thus be shrinking from bodily suffering. Does the weak flesh recoil from those agonies which no tongue can desribe, which no skill can baffle, which no anodyne can soothe, and which no affection can prevent? Jesus can sympathise with you. Think you that He will desert you in this trial of your humanity, or make no allowance for the weakness of the flesh, the pain and nervousness, the agony and languor, the fainting and swooning which so much interferes with you soul’s enjoyment, beclouds your mental powers, and prevents those spiritual exercises of reading, meditation, and prayer in which you have been wont so happily to indulge? Ah, no! He is your fellow-sufferer! and when, in anticipation of the throes, the agonies, and the convulsions which rack the body with pain, the spirit fails, the flesh shrinks, and your trembling heart breathes to heaven its earnest, plaintive cry, “Father, if it be possible.”–you are at once in the closest sympathy with your Savior’s sensitiveness to bodily suffering, and He in sympathy with yours. Who will arrest that prayer?–not Jesus.” Octavius Winslow, The Sympathy of Christ
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