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In this season of Lent, we’re focusing on the stewardship of pain. The descriptive phrase itself is anathema to what society teaches us. We’re indoctrinated to avoid, silence, ignore, and medicate pain. How about walking through pain? Is that too extraordinary of a thought?

My life experiences continue to teach me that even when pain is intolerably excruciating, it’s healthier to stand up, reach out my hand, and walk through it.

Through my ex-husband’s adultery, my subsequent divorce, the death of my father and brother, and through the ravages of disease, hepatitis C, lupus, and cancer,  my friends and family in the body of Christ broken for me, have walked me through it all.

They have shown me that when people abandon me, Jesus says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

They have shown me that when people lie to me and deceive me, He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

They have shown me that when our children, brothers, sisters, and parents die, He says, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

They have shown me that when fear paralyzes my core, He says that His “perfect love casts out all fear.”

They have shown me that when sadness is the essence of every breath I take, God promises that “tears do come at nightfall, but joy comes in the morning.” He will wait with us for the mornings.

When my body fails and disease is eating me up, I have learned to reach out and allow my family of God to carry me to Jesus, and lower me into His healing touch. If I could sing I would break out with a favorite old hymn, “I know who I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I’ve committed, unto Him against that day.”

 

How are you caring for your loved ones who are walking through pain?

May the God who calls you from this place journey with you as you go. May God delight in you with joy, bringing unimagined graces, walk with you in darkness, shining light along your way. May God be close to you in pain, giving strength for every moment. And comfort you in fear, granting courage to be brave.

Our Pastor's Weekly Benediction of Blessing