A few weeks ago a friend was diagnosed with stage four cancer. She was devastated to hear this news and became sad and depressed.
After many more tests and appointments, she began to hope that with the right treatment, perhaps it wouldn’t be as bad as it sounded.
And then the other shoe dropped. Terminal. The prognosis is a few weeks, perhaps months.
This lady picked up the pieces of what life she has left and began preparing to die. Her affairs are in order and her family, while being heartbroken, is comfortingly close and supportive.
In conversation with her, I am overwhelmed by a sense of respect, admiration, and inspiration.
Her family, friends and church family are praying earnestly for a miracle.
As she faces her second chemo treatment today, which will hopefully prolong her life beyond the prognosis, I am praying for her, and hope whoever reads this, wherever in the world, will also offer prayer for this courageous lady.
Did you know that singing is good for the soul? Singing also relieves stress, exercises the lungs, and decreases depression. All this is my own opinion, but it works for me. And take this little guy…can’t you just hear him? (Of course, he could just be waiting to be fed but I prefer to believe that he is singing a new song).
The fourth prayer in Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To is, “God, Get Me Through This Suffering.” Here is an excerpt from this chapter, I Can’t Take It Anymore:
Now, there are many kinds of suffering we have to get through in this world. Some suffering is big and some suffering is small. But every kind can be tortuous in its own way–from toothaches to kidney stones; from migraine headaches to bouts of depression; from frustration at work to anxiety at home; from the sad, deteriorating death of the elderly to the sudden, shocking death of the young; from the grief that every son goes through when his mother dies to the unspeakable agony of two parents mourning the loss of their child. God says yes to all who come to him for help and comfort when they are in the midst of such trials. Notice I did not say that he promises to stop the suffering, or prevent if from happening in the first place, or alleviate it in any way. This may be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to faith, but we have to face it, head-on: God allows a lot of terrible things to happen.
It has been my experience that crying out to God in the midst of hurt and suffering, (especially childbirth!) that strength and peace are the almost immediate relief. However, having said that, most of my suffering comes from watching the suffering of others. When I see people bearing unbearable pain, enduring endless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation before surgery can be performed, being housebound due to physical conditions beyond their control, or hear the dastardly news of someone being beheaded because of another’s beliefs…my cry is then, “God, get them through their suffering!” Does he say yes to these prayers also? I do hope so!
Tomorrow: Am I A Terrible Person?…God Forgive Me
Dear God, there are those among us whose life is a struggle each day due to the darkness of depression. We know that this malady can be caused by an imbalance in brain chemistry and the hormone, serotonin. We know it can be triggered by life’s problems; by some medications or by dementia-causing diseases. Through no fault of their own, many people slip into the abyss of depression, and can’t find their way out. Be their guiding light, Lord. Lead them into the paths of those who can help them in their struggle. Give their lives meaning, and where there is darkness let there be light. Give those of us who are free from this battle, the compassion and the wisdom to be the channel for your healing love. Amen.
It’s Sunday again and I’d like to share another prayer of the people:
Breathe on us breath of God as we welcome Your Holy Spirit into the silence of our hearts.
Father God, help us to realize that talking about You is not the same as knowing You, and talking to You.
Help us to overcome the obstacles that prevent us from enjoying a closer relationship with You. Help us to trust You completely in the problems we face and the decisions we make each day.
When we are self centered, help us to center on You and the needs of others.
When we are feeling depressed and anxious help us to rest in Your never-ending love and to feel the comfort and peace that Your love brings.
When we lose our sense of compassion, help us to remember Your constant compassion for us and make us aware enough to feel it in our lives.
Make us humble enough to know that You are our help in every need and without You we are incomplete.
Father we pray for our friends and families and for each other and ask that You would replace our grief with peace, our sickness with healing, our poverty with prosperity and our sadness with joy.
We pray for world peace, for unity among all people, for governments of all countries and for courage to stand up to the unacceptable acts of those who have no concern for the lives and welfare of their fellow human beings.
Help these people to find a way to channel their destructive behavior into productive action that they may become caring members of our society.
May our prayers today be acceptable in Your sight, and may we try to make our lives acceptable to You in every way. Amen.
Last night I attended a seminar on anxiety and depression, and the speaker touched on the subject of worry and how useless it is. This reminded me of a remark made by my Pastor in a sermon a few years ago.
“If you insist on worrying you begin to look like you were baptized in lemon juice.”
Need more be said?