The Journey Thoughts

September 8, 2016

It's one of those nights that I can't sleep.  I have this pain in my hand
that has been building now for quite a while, the results of a long-ago
injury, that is now finally raising its ugly head to keep me in pain.  I'm
sure that many of you have those also, especially if you have spent a few
years on this earth.  As I sit here meditating on God's word, I am drawn to
Hebrews, for it is an answer for me, for my pain.  The Word says, "Endure
suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is
there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline -
which all receive - then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we respected them.
Shouldn't we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they
disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He
does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness. No discipline
seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the
fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, and make straight
paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed
instead."  Hebrews 12:7-12  So I am enduring this pain for my benefit, and I
realize that I have been agonizing over it for hours now, when I can't
change a thing about it.  Yet, when I remember growing up, and being
disciplined, it was to learn, and there were times I needed correction to
that discipline so that I would learn to do it right.  When I look at pain
the same way, I am finding that God is allowing me to be in pain to be
disciplined, so that I can endure without going crazy.  I am also finding
that if I embrace the pain it tends to fade, and if I reject it, it flairs.
So I will embrace it; I will learn to endure even though it hurts, for I
know that this is not the most pain I certainly could be in, and for some of
you, my pain does not even come close to what you are already suffering.
But I understand! I will submit to the Father of spirits and live. I will
put all my hope and trust in Him, and if this keeps me awake, then I will
also realize that I have more training to accomplish. I find it interesting
that the bible says next, "strengthen your tired hands."  For it is my one
hand that is tired and painful, so I will continue to strengthen it,
regardless of the pain that is felt, for to succumb to the pain will stiffen
the joint and I will be worse off.  Have you ever looked at your pain as
discipline?  Perhaps you should give it a try, for all of us will experience
pain at some point in our lives, some will have more, but all will have
some.   I realize that many of the patients I still see, come in because
they want relief from their pain.  It is one of the most difficult things to
control, so much so, that now we have specialists who do only that.  But
maybe we are to endure the pain set before us, so that we can become more
like Christ. Maybe we are to endure the suffering by leaning more and more
on Christ.  As I remember the discipline at my dad's hand, I didn't like it
at the time, but later in life, I realized that the discipline I received as
a child made me a better person as an adult.  I believe God is trying to get
us to an even bigger place of understanding, by submitting to Him for all
discipline. That means even the pains of life that we have to endure, are
allowed by Him to teach us how to share in His holiness.  Lord, I want to be
trained more, and will submit to You for all training in righteousness,
which means that even in my weakened flesh, I will endure for Your glory,
and will be considered a fruit of peace and righteousness.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, thank You for the discipline I have been going through.  I
pray that You will strengthen these joints and bones, yet I will surrender
to You all my pain, all the discomfort, and all the difficulties that I
experience, and I pray for those who are struggling to endure even now, from
the effects of life, and injury or illness.  Lord, You are our peace, and
You are our comfort, and we trust in You for the discipline to endure all
that we are suffering.  I pray then for those who suffer the pain of loss.
Lord, please be with Linda and her family. I pray for those who suffer pain,
whether physical or emotional, whether the result of treatment or insult, I
pray for: Malachi, Terry and his dad, Tim's mother, Shelly's mother, the
Reed family, the Foster family, Pam and her son, Julissa and her friend,
Kelly and her son, Richard and his father, Ben and his family, the Briggs
church, Ben and Ramona, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Jeff, Laura, Mike, Megan,
Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, Tim, Michelle, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Don, Lynn,
Dwight, Sammi, Todd, Tonia, Aiden, Liam, Jackie Ann, Pastor Berkey, Adrian,
Tuly, Tyler, Kristen, Trevor, Maria, Trevor, Maria, Tyson, Wendy, Montella,
Joyce, Betty, David, Phyllis, Devon, Cindy, Barbara, Terri, Marliana, Loren,
Cynthia, Bill, Carolyn, BJ, Ida, Isabel, Angie, Kristena, Shane, Choya,
Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, JV, Nada, Andrea, Alan, Fisher, Shannon, Robert,
Pat, Ryan, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn, Robbie, Laurie,
Gary, Heather, Codi, Ron, Ada, Deane, Bill, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin,
Harriet, Gus, Lisa, Alice, Dotty, Fred, Mike S., James, Scott, April, Craig,
Betty, Hunter, Asher, Lynette, Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Candace, Abe,
Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jake, Bob, Lisa.
Give us the strength to endure suffering, and give us strength to trust in
You for our discipline I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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