Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Christ's Suffering and My Suffering: How Do They Connect? by Kim Darling

My dear Christian sister, Kim Darling, is a lady with whom the Lord connected the two of us through the Internet!  It didn't take long at all in our communications to realize that each of us love and live for Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  God has used the Internet for His purposes, glory and kingdom.
 Every single time that Kim and I have corresponded, I go away feeling richer in the graces and glory of our God: pearls of wisdom she offers to me.  Recently when Kim and I finally spoke on the phone~~~hearing her voice was such a reward of love and sweetness to my ears and to my heart.
Kim's letter strikes to the core of our being on Jesus' suffering and ours, and how they are related.  Find deep words of knowledge and truth herein from someone who loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength.  What a sweet pure-of-heart spirit Kim exudes.  She is precious to me, always and forever.  Be sure to read to the very end of her story because there is a conclusion that will surely touch your spirit. 
Enjoy, for the Lord is good!
One of my favorite verses is in Jeremiah 9:23-24 (this is the Lord speaking), 
23 Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
Years ago I read this verse and was struck at how the Lord revealed what was in His Heart.  He wants me to Know Him.  This is not a superficial knowing. 
Another favorite verse is in Phillippians 3:10: (Paul says) 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. 
This verse is so loaded with amazing truths to peel away and meditate on, and I've tried to do this for years, but I knew it in my head, and God knew that in order for me to truly understand this, I had to go through the process of learning it experientially.
I'm slowly learning that we really don't come to know the Lord in the blessing but rather in the breaking.  Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
Suffering introduces a man to himself.  For me I thought I was so much further than I really was because of my head knowledge and my zeal.  I had to come to the place where I was bankrupt to help myself through what was ahead of me.  I was brought many times to the end of myself and at wit's end corner.
Intense suffering can do one of two things for the believer.  It can either drive us to God or drive us into utter despair.  The alternative is too frightening because we know there is no hope down that road.  In order to get through this, I had to think with a heavenly mind and not an earthly mind.  I had to preach to myself the truths and promises of God and not trust my feelings that are very bad counselors.  It's a fight every day not to take counsel with them.  Another verse that I CLUNG to was from the book of Job: Though He slay me, yet will I trust HIM.  I tried to say this out loud when I could hardly get the words out.  There were many nights of no sleep because of pain, and when you are at your weakest point, that is when the devil comes in to tempt you to fear and give up just like he did with Christ after He fasted and prayed.  I praise God for giving us the recipe to get through such desperate times!  He gave us the armor of God to clothe ourselves with to halt the arrows from hitting us.  Job 35:10 says, He giveth songs in the night(the joy of the Lord is my strength).  This quieted my heart in a desperate moment of sheer weakness.  Isaiah 30:15 says, in Quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. 
We have to quiet our hearts and preach to ourselves the truth over and over again.
There are a few things that made my suffering bearable, and we as believers have this readily available to us.  The first gift that the Lord gives us is the right amount of grace to go through it, and then God's constant presence and knowing that He was in full control and appointed this specific trial of faith for me.  When we suffer, there is very little anyone can do.  I had a precious husband who did all that he could and a loving and helpful mother and father, but they cannot take the pain away, nor live inside you.  It was a comfort to know that my Savior knows all of it. (Christ in me, the hope of Glory.)
Which brings me to one of the blessed truths that has helped me through my ordeal.  I spent the year in 1 Peter 1:3-...God has given us a living hope. 
(For full chapter
1 Peter 1: )
It is alive and real and enlarged my heart.  When you are pressed out of measure, this is like medicine from Heaven.  We have a bright future with our Savior forever, and there will be no more pain, tears, or suffering of any kind.  Heaven is not here, it is there.  Life is very short.  I am so privileged to suffer in the path of obedience with my Savior.  He became ENOUGH. 

Psalm 73:25, 26
25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.  26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
I am becoming more aware that when we are given the gift of salvation, we are automatically united with our Savior but union is not communion.  When we suffer, we are in the perfect position to commune with Him, and there is nothing more precious.  We get to experience just a glimpse of what He went through, and this builds a relationship instead of it being one-sided.
Suffering stretches out spaces in our hearts for more of God.
Malachi 3:6 says I am the Lord, I change not.  This is another benefit as our world around us is changing and deteriorating and when we lose our health, we lose the comfort zone of our normal self, and that is hard to deal with.  Blessing to know He doesn't change.
Afflication detaches my heart to this world and all that I look on to make it easy to exist here.  Heaven is not here but there.
Peace is sweeter after conflict and war!
Present afflictions tend to heighten future joy.
We have only one life to show the world both seen and unseen that we know a Great God, and He is the Creator and the reason for our existence.
My brain tumor turned out to be a gift.  It has been a wondrous blessing to trust God when nothing made sense. 

"I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chattd all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne'er a word said she;

But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me."

Walked A Mile – Song Written by Barry Mann (Chorus taken from Poem by Robert Browning Hamilton) and Sung by Barry McGuire

Psalm 61:2
King James Version (KJV)
2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Isaiah 43:2
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Romans 8:18 (KJV)
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

by Kim Darling!

When Kim sent me her typed letter that you have just now read, she wrote in her own handwriting in the margin:
"Each day I learn something new though there is no Period at the end of this as there is no Period at the end of all of God's children"
Donna M.

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