Pray It Forward

“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 The Message

The following letter from “Anonymous” is to his/her non-SDA son-in-law, whose father was having kidney and heart problems. The father passed away only a few days after this communication. Names have been changed.

Dear James,

When my mom died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, she couldn’t speak or swallow even though her brain was fully functional, which was very frustrating for her. For several years she fed herself ‘liquid nutrition’ through a stomach tube, which occasionally became painfully infected. During those years, we could not make popcorn because just the smell would tempt her to put some in her mouth, which she could not swallow or chew. When you think of the million and one ways humans have died over the centuries, which would you choose for yourself or a loved one? Airplane crash, beheaded by a terrorist, drown in a pool, run over by a truck, in bed with family all around? Actually—with trust in God— it is often a blessing to let go and not have to suffer, or watch the suffering any longer. God can see all the options and I believe He chooses the best outcome for all, because He is working to save any and all He can. Believe me, looking back on everything, it hurt me much more to see my mom struggle with her condition the last eight months, than after she was gone. Of course, the hardest part is to trust God that He is doing what is best for all!

The night before my mom passed away, my dad called and told me she would not last much longer. I got on the phone with her and I could hear she was trying to communicate but her vocal cords were doing nothing. So I just told her I would see her again someday soon. Since I believe there is a heaven and she had faith in Christ, the next thing she will know is that reality. If I want to see her again, I just have to make sure I continue in that belief as well. Trust in God seems to be like bodybuilding—it doesn’t grow unless it is exercised, and I believe that God has taken me through some tough times so that I can help ‘pray it forward’ to you.

Please give your mother my regards! I am praying that God’s will be done, that He will heal and restore your father if it is His will. But I am also praying for your entire family that God will strengthen all of you no matter what happens, because sometimes living can actually be worse than death. Just don’t forget this promise “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

Please pray:

  • that we all come to rely upon the God of all comfort, to share His comfort with others.
  • that we will be impressed by God to make use of our time, talents, and resources to further His kingdom.
  • for God to use us to speak and share with those around us, our experiences when God has come close.
  • that we might see the eternal value of those around us who do not yet know God.
  • that God will continue to hold the “four winds” of strife so we can work to save just one more!

This devotional was previously published in the Pioneer Memorial Church Bulletin. It has been reprinted here with permission from the author.

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Adrian Knauff

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7136
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Faith is so much about things that we do not and cannot understand on this earth…but still have trust and faith in the Divine. If the relationship with God is not developed, this faith cannot exist, and is impossible for those without it to understand hope after these sorts of events.

Nice devotional. Thank-you.

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