Sunday February 21
In the Middle of Suffering - Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
“ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
As my long time friend wept openly in front of the large conference, I was moved.
Mervin had experienced so much pain and suffering in his life, but very few would have known. He seemed successful and was even the President of a Christian counseling organization. For years, he had helped so many rise above their hurts and pain. But there he was, this grown man, a big strong Cree, weeping about the sexual abuse he had experienced as a young hockey player. It happened on a road trip. He spoke of the impact and how self-hatred had poured in as a result of this experience.
Mervin continued to share how God was now using this very difficult experience in his life. Through this experience of suffering, he was now able to reach out to others who also had suffered wrong in their past. Through counseling, he was able to see how these earlier experiences had shaped him and lead him to cover up his pain in unhealthy ways. The road to recovery was hard but worth it.
During this Lent season, I am challenging myself to look at the hurts and pains I have experienced in my life.
Are there any past hurts that I am still hanging on to that are keeping me from being all I can be?
Are there still some in your life?
It may not be abuse like Mervin. It could be something else, but I challenge you to be willing to go through the dark valley and look at the hurt. You may need to find a Christian counselor, or God may use someone else. Yet, being willing to deal with past hurt is worth it all. Not only will you find peace, but God can use your story to help many others!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for going to the cross for us. Lord, You suffered so much for us, and because You were willing, You brought us eternal salvation. You also told us that You would walk with us through our suffering. Help us, Lord, to go through the valleys in our lives, so that we in turn can minister your peace and hope to others.
In your wonderful name we pray, Amen.
Rick Martin - Manitoba, Canada