Rejoicing in my Suffering

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It has been no secret that my kids moving away has been really hard for me. The thought of not getting to see them very often upsets me ways I can’t even begin to put into words. Coupled with the death of my dad a couple months ago I have been feeling like I am suffocating, sinking beneath the surface back down into the darkness.

Today I was pleading with God for strength, wisdom and encouragement. I have been praying this for awhile with no real relief. But this time, the Spirit chose to answer me, with another question.

It was the weirdest thing, I’m in the back smoking and I hear Him, “Why aren’t you grateful?”

I say, “I am Father, You saved me from so much”, and as I begin to continue He stops me….. “I am talking about your dad…. your kids.”

All of a sudden it hit me, this is His mercy… this is His grace. It was inevitable that my father would die, but the Lord kept him around long enough to mend our broken relationship….

With my x wife being in the Navy, I knew it was inevitable that it would take my kids far away, but the Lord kept them here and helped me establish a loving and amazing relationship with my children. A solid foundation that we never had before….

What if these things happened 4 years ago? My pops and I so hateful to each other, my kids remembering a dad that loved them but was so broken he had to go away.

Suddenly the Spirit washes over me and I start to cry and I thank Him for giving me the chance, the time, and the ability to make things right, His way. 

Suddenly the Spirit says, “Now this is rejoicing in your suffering”

I kid you not guys, it was almost audible and it made me laugh as I sniff and took a breath.

It doesn’t make the hurt go away, because it hurts. But the truth the Spirit showed me was how lucky… how blessed I truly am to get the time I had.

Phil 4:8
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Romans 5:3-5
“Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Psalm 27:14
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Ecclesiastes 8:6
“For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”

Justin Ludwig

Writing by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://www.bible-reflections.net/image/original/1856/on-the-road-marked-with-suffering.jpg

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