To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Time to Suffer?

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution
~II Timothy 3:12

The verse above has been a very one sobering one to me the past couple of days. Sunday we had one of the missionary families our church supports present their ministry in Papua New Guinea. During the challenge the husband made a comment in reference to this verse that if you are in the Lord's will it is normal to face suffering and persecution. He was speaking from his own experience with suffering, which they have handled so gracefully. That statement never left my mind and when we got home I asked Ben what he thought about that in reference to our own lives. I was in a place where I didn't really know what to think because I was familiar with this verse and believe it to be true and I also feel that as a family, Ben and I are in the Lord's will and have heart's that are ready to be used at any moment for anything He asks of us yet I don't feel I have had any suffering or persecution. I mean yes, when I made the choice to become a Christian I did lose some friends. But to consider that! Have we faced some difficult moments in our lives, yes, but to consider that real suffering like some! Ben shared a different opinion. While he agreed that yes, we are in the Lord's will and "living godly in Christ Jesus" he disagreed that we have not had suffering or persecution. It strikes me as funny that two people who are living the same marriage and raising the same family, living the same life have such opposite perspectives. Maybe it all comes down to ones own assessment of what suffering and persecution actually then you really would have differing perspectives?
 Late last evening I was reading an email update on a man who I've never met but his grandfather was a member of our church who passed away a few years ago. This man has been battling cancer for 16 years and he and his wife just celebrated 16 years of marriage. Did the same thing strike you as it did me when you read that. For their entire marriage this woman's husband has been sick and battling cancer. For their daughter's entire life she has known her dad to be sick. Do I suffer? NO!! It's when I read stories like this that I ask God, "why have you allowed us to have such an easy life, when we are so undeserving?" I am not begging God to suffer but it does make me stop and be incredibly thankful for the life He has allowed us to have. And what is even more incredible is to read these stories and see the joy of the Lord these individuals have through their suffering. They are not bitter toward God but rather praising Him! It is such a blessing to see and an encouragement that IF God chooses to send us down some of those difficult paths, HE WILL provide us with the grace to get through it. The saying, "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you." is so true and evident in the lives of some, including the missionary family we had on Sunday.
So this week I am so incredibly thankful for the life and family God has given us and the blessings that have come with it and I have been challenged to live a life that is even more "Godly in Christ Jesus" because even if we are in the will of God there is always more we can be doing for Him. Take the time to read the stories of the families I put links to. I guarantee you it will bless your heart and cause you be thankful.

1 comment:

  1. I read this and have so totally been there! We had the initial persecution that comes with being saved in this community when it was new and foreign to so many. Cut off from friends and family, but as the years passed, many now can look at our family and see that Christ made a difference...God's way of getting glory despite our failings. We had such a blessed life and still do. The verses that have me keeping close to God are the 'watch and pray' ones. There will come a time as we get closer to the end times, that persecution will come in full force to those of us who have suffered little. This is a time for building faith in our lives and in those of our children that they might stand in that day. I could 'quake' thinking of what my grandchildren may one day have to endure, but am assured that all of you my children are raising them to be strong and faithful. Keep on keeping on! Love you guys!