Suffering

by Funhog Family on July 26, 2011

Tirzah

As we planned this trip, we knew we would have and even prayed for suffering, for Romans 5 states “…we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope: And hope does not disappoint; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Two nights ago, I awoke to Tirzah coughing a little, and I nursed and prayed for her for a while. As I did so, I had many thoughts I’d like to share. I thought of my three youngest children: Sydney, Elijah and Tirzah who all fight sleep and our instruction. (Not that the older two don’t fight our instruction; it’s just not as prevalent as it is with the younger ones.) I thought about how miserable they make themselves as they fight that which is best for them. This brought my mind to how we, as adults, fight God’s leading.

Elijah

Oh, how little we know about what is best for us. We are as little children who need parents to love, nurture, and guide them, to instruct them in what is right and best. When we go our own way, when we think we know what is best for us without seeking God’s guidance, we can cause ourselves much grief and oftentimes those we love as well. Then I thought of how much I love my children and how I feel when my children are hurting and making themselves miserable, and it grieved my heart to think how much more my Heavenly Father must grieve over our wayward hearts. I thought of a song I have recently found provoking. It speaks of a man in prison who cries out to God, “O Lord forgive me, I want to go home.” And the Lord replies, “I know you’ve murdered, and I know you’ve lied. I’ve watched you suffer all of your life. Now that you’re listening, I’ll tell you that … I will love you for you, not for what you have done or what you will become…” I imagined my amazing Father in heaven watching over this man who committed such atrocities and most likely had atrocities committed against him as well.

Sydney

I imagined Him hurting with this man whenever he was hurt. I could see him putting things/people in this man’s life to steer him toward Himself but the man dismissing those things as he did what was “right in his own eyes.” He ends up in prison, left to himself, and finally he humbles himself before God and sees that he cannot do anything on his own. All the while, my (and his) gracious Heavenly Father has watched and intervened in ways to show His love, and now He forgives, loves, and restores this broken man. How I cried out to God that my little ones would not choose that course, how I prayed that He would use this trip or anything He must to make my children see His hand on their lives, His love for them! How I long for them to give over being willful and to walk in His will instead, and though it cost me my life, there is no greater purpose for me here on this earth than to show them who He is and prepare them to serve Him.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly Levin July 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Jodi,

I love what you wrote, it is so profound. I am excited about what God is showing you. We are praying for you all to make many wonderful memories. With love, Kelly

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Funhog Family July 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Thanks Kelly!! I really appreciate your prayers, even the ones for suffering! We are definitely making memories! Love you. Missed our ladies night this month. Maybe we can do one a week when I get back to make up for the 3 I miss!!

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