Sunday, November 19, 2006

Suffering -no matter the degree...

If we follow Him, as his sheep are wont to do, we must follow where he leads. Where does he lead us? To the Cross. We first must go to the Cross, before the Glory of Heaven can ever hope to be attained. If we do not pick up our crosses and follow him, we are not worthy to be his disciples. I pray mine won't be left on the floor for anything that, or anyone who, could lure me away from him. Even a hoped for "miracle" can be dangerous, if it's sought after more than Christ Himself. If it's not in His "Perfect Will" that I be cured or healed, then it is to be accepted as "from God." As St. Paul wrote, we're to THANK GOD for ALL THINGS...the pain, the suffering, as much as for the healing, the cure, the happiness of mind.

Health of mind and body is indeed a blessing, but that doesn't mean that we must think that sickness or disease or illness of mind or body isn't from God. If that idea creeps in, we'll certainly be deceived and led astray by false doctrine. The "health and wealth gospel" took many down the wrong path. I wonder where some are today who believed in that so strongly, when perhaps now, they've been hit by a "sledgehammer" of suffering? We'll all have suffering of one kind or another all our lives. I'd rather accept it as part of the life God has given me, than to fight against it as an enemy, for the sake of a "false gospel."

Jesus never promised us a "rose garden." But our suffering can be as pleasing to his nostrils as much as a fragrant bloom, when we offer up our sorrow and suffering no matter how deep or painful, or however slight. Then we become the 'roses' in his garden, where he'll tend to us, pruning and watering and weeding and we'll be assured of his care, confident and trusting as the lilies of the field, that he'll provide our "garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

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