Is It Weakness or Strength?

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My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:29

This week has found me thinking much about suffering.  I've been exchanging emails with a new blog friend and found myself writing:

 God has really opened my eyes to the intense suffering of some of my friends and the people around me.  I think that sometimes, people just don't share their pain because they are afraid of what people will think - that they don't have enough faith or whatever.  I'm glad you and these others opened up to me.  It's helping me to see we don't suffer in isolation, and also how much we need each other - and God's word."

I started wondering how many of us "suffer in silence"?  How many feel the stigma attached to illness in a society that now teaches that healing is equal with belief.  

There are many teachers out there who tell us we can be wealthy, we can be successful, we can be in good health if only we have the faith and claim those things for our lives.

It makes it challenging to speak up and say, "I'm hurting.  I'm at the end of my rope." "I don't know how to go on."

Doesn't feel brave to share those things.  It feels much more like weakness.

I do know that our thoughts and beliefs come into play with our health.  But I also know that Christ told us we would have tribulation in this world.  I know that Paul suffered many things and had his "thorn in his side" that God did not remove.

I'm not talking here about the daily complaining trap we can fail into.  I know I am prone to that.  But I am talking about earnestly approaching a trusted friend (or someone who will become that friend) and sharing just how hard the road has become, asking for prayer, and finding comfort with another believer.

So, to the women who have shared their stories with me this week; I say, "Thank You."  

Thank you for helping me see a bit clearer - to have a better understanding of what we all go through.  Thank you for showing me that sharing what we see as weakness is also a sign of strength.  Having the ability to be honest, and share, and seek help - even if it is only by wanting another to know the true story of our lives.

May God hold you, and each reader in the palm of His hand, and may you know the safety in that touch.

Father God, Today is simply a 'Thank You' day.  Thank you for all you teach me through those who read these words.  Thank you for the blessings of getting to know them, of being able to pray for them, for giving us each the opportunity to share openly and honestly with one another.  Thank You, Lord, for the new family you have given to me … my brothers and sisters in You.  Amen and amen.

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