Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Do you want to be well?

Today I was reading the daily Mass readings. And the meditation of the day was on "Do you want to be well?" by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. I really liked this reading. And often wonder why some people suffer more than others. Like my Dad who in 12 years had two triple bypasses and multiple stents placed in his heart, then a battle with skin cancer and had to have Chemotherapy. And then the last two years of his life suffered greatly with Pulmonary Fibrosis. And died at the age of 65 this past May.  Of course I prayed and prayed for my Dad to be healed. He was healed. But not the way I had prayed for. I was praying for physical healing for him on earth. We don't always understand suffering here on earth or why certain people are not healed in the way we think they ought to be. I guess I will only know why my Dad had to suffer so much when I get to heaven myself.
And I have experienced my suffering in my own life. And if I would not have suffered then things I have I don't think I would be as close to God as I am now. The suffering and trials I have been through is what has brought me closer to God. All though they have been very painful I don't think I would change anything I have been through.
I liked what Brother Lawrence had to say about suffering and trials.

Do you want to be well?
I will not ask God to deliver you from your trials, but I will ask him earnestly to give you the patience and strength needed to suffer as long as he desires. Find consolation in him who keeps you fixed to the cross; he will release you when he judges it appropriate. Happy are they who suffer with him. Get used to suffering, and ask him for the strength to suffer as he wants, and for as long as he judges necessary. The worldly do not understand these truths, and I am not surprised; the reason is that they suffer as citizens of this world and not as Christians. They consider illnesses as natural afflictions and not as graces from God, and therefore they find in them only what is difficult and harsh for our nature. But those who regard them as coming from the hand of God, as signs of his mercy and the means he uses for their salvation, ordinarily find great sweetness and perceptible consolations in them.
I wish you were convinced that God is often closer to us in times of sickness and suffering than when we enjoy perfect health. Seek no other doctor but him. I think he wants to cure you by himself. Place all your trust in him, and you will soon experience the benefits we resist when we trust more in medical remedies than in God.
Whatever remedies you may use, they will only work to the extent that he will permit. When suffering comes from God, he alone can cure it, and he often leaves us with physical illness in order to cure our spiritual illness. Find consolation in the sovereign doctor of body and soul. 

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

  "Where as ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It   is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14

Last Wednesday I wrote about how I was missing my Dad. Well on Friday I received two devotionals about losing a loved one. One of the devotionals was about how death is not a period it is only a comma. I liked that. And the other devotional was about a gentleman who had lost his Father. And the scripture he used in the devotional was James 4:14. That was the scripture my Dad would always say.
My Dad suffered greatly the last two years of his life with Pulmonary Fibrosis. He lived on oxygen the last two years of his life. I watched him struggle for every breath. It was hard to watch him struggle for every breath. And he never really complained the whole time he was sick. He would just say we are only a vapor here. Here today gone tomorrow. So that is the scripture we put on his tombstone. I just felt God was talking to me in the two devotionals. Letting me know that my Dad is with Him. And this weekend I went to an awesome retreat. And I felt God speaking to me again about my Dad. And the words I heard this weekend helped. God is so good. He knows our every need. Even when you are missing your loved one He will speak words of encouragement to you. And it says in Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted."  And God has done some comforting for me the this weekend.
Thanks for the kind comments on my last post.