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grace in suffering…..

February 19, 2010

i was reading an article this morning talking about God’s grace in our suffering.  the author tells us to think of a trial in which we’ve experienced much suffering and where we’ve seen God’s grace at work.

for me, i didn’t haveto think long and hard…..

my dad.

watching my dad walk through alzheimers disease has by far been the most difficult and painful thing i have ever had to walk through.  as if it wasn’t hard enough watching him struggle with everyday tasks, walking away from him that day we moved him into the nursing home was a day that i will never forget.

now that i’ve been in this trial for a while, i can look back and see God’s sweet hand of mercy at work. 

 i can see how he was/is using this trial to make me more like Him. 

 i can see how he was using this trial to cause me to lean on Him and to realize how very small i am in comparison to Him.

i can honestly say that God is sweeter to me now than before my dad’s alzheimers…meaning that i see him in a much sweeter light than before.

since my dad moving into the nursing home 2-1/2 years ago, i can honestly say that i don’t just “know” Jesus, but i am now in love with Jesus.  i don’t just see him as my God that i go to when things are tough, but i now go to him as my best friend, my greatest confidant.

i don’t just see him as mighty and powerful, but i see him as sweet & caring and very much acquainted with my sorrow and grief.  i see him as wanting and longing to be a part of my life and wanting to meet all my needs.

this doesn’t mean that i don’t sometimes fear or worry or even doubt God, but it’s different now.  it’s different in the sense that when i do fear or doubt, i am quick to realize that and i am anxious to lay that before God, rather than dwell on it and drown in it.

all of this is evidence of God’s grace in my life.

i wouldn’t be who i am today if God hadn’t lovingly walked me through this trial with mydad.  i wouldn’t see God in the light that i see him now.  i wouldn’t know his grace the sweet way i know it now. 

though it’s been extremely painful to walk through this “valley of death”, i am so very grateful for the lessons i am learning along the way.  and while i’d love to have my dad back to the way he used to be, i know that someday, on the otherside(in Heaven), he will be well and whole again and he will rejoice with me for all that i’ve learned.

as the psalmist says in psalm 23, that though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.  i can honestly say that i am seeing that to be true.





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