As promised, here are a few quotes from the famous author of The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran.
“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.”
“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.”
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
“We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.”
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
Today’s blog comes from part of Matthew Ruttan’s post on suffering. This is only a snippet:
There is a lot of suffering in the world. There is personal anguish and anxiety. There is family and relationship stress. There is oppression and violence and war.
None of this surprises me because we live in a broken world. But it bothers me. It bothers me because it’s not what God intended.
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We all have our tough times in life, of that there is no doubt, but when something like the following prayer request crosses my life path I have to stop and realize that there really are people worse off than I am. That little phrase was always the answer to my childhood complaints: “There are people worse off than you.”
Please pray for twenty-nine-year-old Andrea, a single mom from Sri Lanka, dying, and leaving her three children aged twelve, eight and six with grandparents in their seventies. Pray for God’s strength, help and comfort for this family in their tragic and difficult situation.
I love being part of our church prayer chain…it not only offers the opportunity to pray for people but it opens my eyes to so much suffering that I would otherwise be unaware of.
Please join me in prayer for these dear people…it is the least we can do.
How many of us suffer from fear on a daily basis or even just occasionally? My last bout of fear was in 2005 while waiting for confirmation of a cancer diagnosis. It was a mind and body numbing fear until the verdict came in and I had to face it…the fear and the cancer.
Here are a few things the Bible has to say about being afraid along with that delightful song, “Whistle a Happy Tune” from the 1956 movie, The King and I.
Do not be afraid for I am with you. Genesis 26:24 NIV
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 NIV
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. Hebrews 13:6
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Proverbs 3:24
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:8
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
“Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:36
These are a few teachings from scripture that have helped me as well as others overcome fear at one time or another.
And now…go ahead…whistle a happy tune.
Yesterday’s lesson was about obstacles and finding riches; today’s is about giving in this last of the internet series of some of life’s lessons.
Giving When it Counts – Many years ago when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?” Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
Peter, Paul, and Mary’s hit song of 1962, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone” came on my music channel today. It brought tears to my eyes realizing that in all these years we still haven’t learned.
We haven’t learned to stop the killing…killing of our fellow human and killing of our environment. We haven’t learned to forgive, or how not to carry a grudge. We haven’t learned to love unconditionally, to pray without ceasing. We haven’t learned to say “I’m sorry” and mean it, nor have we learned that doing nothing to reconcile a situation is the same as promoting war instead of peace.
Most people who write these kinds of songs are thinkers, and in their own way are reaching out to the world through their words. But is the world listening? When will we ever learn, oh, when will we ever learn?
Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. Titus 3:1
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