Three years ago this week I was “grounded.” I have spent years primarily in my bed, excruciating debilitating pain from the disease. Twice close to death, “But God…” as I look back, I would never want to go through it again, nor would I recommend it.🙂┬áBut His kindness in bringing back the Scriptures to me when i could not read, did not have the strength to , yet again and again His Word flooding my mind and to meditate on it has kept me sane… an amazing gift from Him amidst the trauma. One thing I have seen. if you read His Word, memorize His Word, hear His Word, He is ABLE To recall to you His precious , powerful, comforting Word as a companion to you . He can recall it from a day ago, a year ago, twenty years ago. He does and He has for me. how precious and kind. Another thing is His Kindness in putting us on people’s heart’s, many whom we have not seen in years whom he has used to have mercy, compassion and help us. The kindness of a DR who has loved us and gone beyond the second mile….and has used others to help who have shown kindness and used their skills to seek to aid me… It is all Him .

Another thing is His kindness in bringing the hurting, the wounded, the fearful into our lives. Those who are going through physical illness who want someone to talk to , to understand, and these have come through social media, phone..etc.. Another thing has been the opportunities He has given through what I call my “medical ministry.” Dr’s , nurses, patients, though in the midst of great difficulties, physically , He has given opportunities to share the Gospel with someone nearly every place I have been and Phil 1:12 a reality.” Brothers I want you to know my circumstances have worked out to further the Gospel.” Through times of difficulties “the God of All comfort”‘ who comforts the afflicted then commission us whom he has comforted to comfort others who are afflicted with His comfort and He tells us we are “able” to do so. We may not have had the same experience but what we do have in common is ‘affliction” been crushed, and as HE COMFORTS US WE ARE COMMISSIONED AND ABLE TO COMFORT OTHERS!

Family also suffer, theirs as caregivers … who need prayers, theirs is a different battle that many a person goes through. The wife of a dear friend called yesterday. He has Alzheimer’s and she said how hard it was…. and we talked about the love of Christ and how she is ministering To Him as she loves and takes care pf her dear husband… she suffers. She suffers well … as a care giver she need support, prayers, The Caregivers and family are often forgotten in the trials…

Also though my voice for close to two years has been low at times unable to speak and still find great difficulty getting enough breath to pull up and force words out, in His kindness to be able to write my thoughts down, from verses I have mediated upon and end up sending out hundreds of “devotionals” and one radio station overseas wrote and asked for permission to read them live on air. How kind it was a station I had wanted to be on and without having to pay they asked me could they read my devotionals on air:) How kind while I lay on a sick bed thousands of miles away on another continent He was allowing me to share when I was too weak to travel, Another person wrote asking for permission to use a devotional I wrote to speak on at a Sunday service. All that to say he is Able to use you even from a sick bed. Why did He let me know these things? One reason to encourage me. And He is the God who “gives encouragement”{Rom 15:5} and since we all need encouragement daily{Heb 13:3} He was breaking into my dark circumstances to bring hope. Such have been some of “the goodness and mercy of the LORD that have followed{Pursued}” me these past years in this journey….Below are some words i wrote during a painful episode… hope these encourage you

Oh Pain- relentless, sharp, dull, unforgiving, blessed pain, familiar friend, foe, all of the above, screaming pain , burning pain, searing pain, how many facets to you, physical and emotional, mental , bending and relenting and offering a false sense of relief only for you to raise with rage and sink me down, deeper each time, relentlessly bending and bowing and aging me, exhausting me till I say “enough, I can’t take any more.”

Oh pain you have caused and revealed so much stress and angst, you have beaten and bruised me, taunted and mocked me, disabled and grounded hurt and isolated me, HOURS, TO DAYS TO WEEKS , MONTHS AND YEARS TOO MANY TO COUNT.

But you will not have the final word, for that is with God, for there is always a “But God…” at the end of every pang at the end of every irk, you do not, cannot have the final say for the child of God, for one day you will be silenced whether here or in death. Silenced, shushed and hushed for there with Him, He will silence every pain, wipe every tear and lavish for all eternity kindness upon kindness where you can not reign, you cannot touch you cannot be. For He is there- {Jesus Christ the Risen King and Friend of sinners}- and I will be safe.

The goal is not healing, for that is His business. The goal to know Him and make Him known in the circumstances you find yourself in and to be … kind to those who are afflicted. Job asked one thing from his friends. I wrote a devotional on it from words for one of my boys. The question is not to be take up with “Why ” is someone going through the difficulty but “HOW” -” HOW Can I show KINDNESS to the one who is afflicted. The words of Job I share from are these ‘ In affliction there should be KINDNESS from his friend….”{Job 6:14}. All as he wanted was some KINDNESS. So the question is not ‘why?” but “HOW!” Be taken up with ‘How” can I show Kindness and love will be exhibited for kindness is a manifestation of love{1 Cor 13:4}… and “by this ALL MEN will KNOW that YOU are My disciple by your LOVE…Let us not love in word or tongue but in DEED and truth…”- { John 13:34-35;1 John 3:15-18} ….

On this three year “anniversary,”🙂┬ásuch are some things i have known….amidst great difficulties and sorrow, He is good, kind, caring and a Friend that sticks closer than a brother… and I am thankful this morning for you, who have helped us along the way…”And this is my story, this is my song…” Psalm 13:6 says “I will sing to the LORD BECAUSE He has dealt bountifully with me.” Note the “BECAUSE”… He had a reason “BECAUSE…” He looked back and saw God had been good to him, and in his present difficulties his recall of God’s past goodness gave him hope and strength for his present difficulties… God gives a song amidst the sorrows…. There is always a “But God…” whatever our scenario. Thank God there is … Him… you never walk alone, you are never on your own, for He is present, “the God of All comfort who comforts us in our afflictions… SO THAT WE WILL BE ABLE to comfort others…” -{2 Cor 1:3-4}!