Thursday, February 24, 2011


"God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)

I found it interesting how this verse says God will bless those who endure testing and temptations. Just trying to endure and get through each day is sure something those of us who struggle with SSA do alot of but at times we still dont feel blessed. I think that part of the blessing may be in ways we dont expect. Like maybe us realizing how weak and sinful we are as humans every day and that without God who knows where we would be. To wake up every morning and be re-reminded how much we need Jesus is pretty cool even though we are reminded of it by our own sins and desires.

God is very good to us and will provide other blessings on top of that but its just something that came to mind as I read this verse. And of course the greatest blessing comes "Afterward" like it says in this verse when we receive the crown of life. Even if we receive no more blessings in life than that it will be worth it to endure whatever trial you face. But there will be other blessings cuz thats the way God is! :) For one we dont have to endure it alone any longer like many of us have for so long! We have each other to lean on for prayers and support! See another blessing already! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Your Pain versus The Pain

Wow still reading Henri Nouwen's book "The Inner Voice of Love" every so often. I just read an amazing chapter on pain that put things into perspective for me. Sure I struggle with the pain of this struggle with SSA and the loneliness it brings at times but that pain is just a part of the human condition we all share. I may wish often I did not struggle with this but if I did not struggle with SSA it would be something else. We can not avoid the pain as its part of our fallen human condition. Here is an excerpt of this chapter that I typed out for you all to read because I really got alot out of it! :)

"You will deceive yourself into believing that if the people, circumstances, and events had been different, your pain would not exist. This might be partly true, but the deeper truth is that the situation which brought about your pain was simply the form in which you came in touch with the human condition of suffering. Your pain is the concrete way in which you participate in the pain of humanity. Paradoxically, therefore, healing means moving from your pain to the pain. When you keep focusing on the specific circumstances of your pain, you easily become angry, resentful, and even vindictive....But real healing comes from realizing that your own particular pain is a share in humanity's pain...Jesus' suffering, concrete as it was, was the suffering of all humanity. His pain was the pain.

Every time you can shift your attention away from the external situation that caused your pain and focus on the pain of humanity in which you participate, your suffering becomes easier to bear. It becomes a "light burden" and an "easy yoke" (Mat 11:30) Once you discover that you are called to live in solidarity with the hungry, the homeless, the prisoners, the refugees, the sick, the dying, your very personal pain begins to be converted into the pain and you will find new strength to live it. Herein lies the hope of all Christians."

-Henri Nouwen, ("The Inner Voice of Love" Pages 103-104)