My friend, may I ask you a question? Why do some people who deal with crippling pain make it and others not? Why are they able to take a “Now what?” moment and turn it into an opportunity? Does God design the weaknesses in our lives as strengths if we are able to place our trust in his ability to turn even the biggest negative into a positive?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
(Until my voice returns from complications of surgery there will be no recorded messages.)
It’s funny how some people are just more willing, more dedicated to facing up to the inevitability of pain while others, for a variety of reasons are not as able. It depends on a person’s ability to put the goal ahead of the journey; to keep one’s eyes focused on the end of the process while keeping the “here and now” in submission to “when and then.” Ultimately, it’s what makes the difference between winners and losers in this life.
Here’s the story: Imagine that you are a world-class concert pianist at the peak of your career, someone who has spent years studying and practicing to develop your art. Your fingers respond instantly to your mental commands, flitting along the keyboard with grace and speed. Then one day you feel a stiffness that wasn't there before. You go to a doctor, tests are done, and the diagnosis comes back: Arthritis. From the heights of success and acclaim you will plunge to oblivion. It happened to Byron Janis. Within a short time this concert pianist saw arthritis quickly spread to all his fingers, and the joints of nine of them fused. Janis decided to fight back. He kept his ailment a secret from all but his wife and two close friends. He worked long hours to change his technique. He learned how to use what strengths he had instead of concentrating on his weaknesses. Through hard work and sheer determination, Janis was able to continue his career. He maintained a full concert schedule for 12 years without anyone suspecting. Finally, he told the world at a White House concert in 1985. These days, he is active in fund-raising for the Arthritis Foundation and still plays the piano. He credits faith, and hope, and will for his success and says, “I have arthritis, but it doesn’t have me.” (Bits and Pieces, August, 1989.)
When the going gets rough each of us has two choices. We can or we can’t. It’s about that simple. I recently spent several days in an ICU recovery room. Nurses in a recovery room see this every day. People either can turn their backs to pain or face it. Some do and others don’t. In a Christian’s life we have the same two choices every day. When life gets tough and the problems mount, we can cry out in pain or grit our teeth. Either way we have pain; either way we have a choice. Jesus predicted that you and I would see much pain and suffering in this life. It is inevitable. There is no way to circumvent it, no way to prevent it. We can either turn our backs to the pain and turn our hearts toward Christ and the promised relief that He affords us daily in the ever-replenishing stock of his love, or we can turn our backs on Christ and focus all of our physical and emotional efforts on the relief or prevention of the pain. We need to make the right choice. Knowing what awaits us at the end of the journey, eternal life in Christ, promotes a faith that is able to manage the pain. We have it, but in Christ, it doesn’t have us.
We pray. Heavenly Father, by allowing me to experience this affliction, so that I may share in your suffering on the cross for sin, you take a sublime chance that I might either draw closer to you for comfort, or turn away from you in my misery. O my Savior, grant me that precious grace to offer up my pain, as you did in your Passion, to atone for sin. … In this time of distress and pain, I ask, I seek, and I knock, for the grace of endurance, perseverance, and above all, trustful submission to your divine will, for my good and your glory. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.