Deepening the Relationship

Ten long, arduous years of more suffering than relief. Years of refining and learning every lesson that could be gleaned from each painful trial. Hard lessons that wouldn’t have been gained otherwise. That’s why they became so valuable, like goodly pearls. Ten years that saw also the flourishing of a relationship between the redeemed and her Redeemer, a love story in its highest and purest form – that of the expectant Bride to her Bridegroom who is coming again soon.

(image from Google)

Ten years that flowed and ebbed in terms of spiritual victory but always drove the redeemed running to her Savior and King and plunging herself at His feet. The relationship deepening each time. Indeed, that road between her and her merciful Savior is a road well-travelled. A beaten track. Always at the end of that road are the everlasting arms opened wide to receive her. She cannot remember a time that she was not welcomed by the kind King.

But in-between episodes of partial healing and relief is the incessant, unrelenting suffering. How could one live with it in ten long, excruciating years? Would the lessons and learning never end? Maybe they don’t. Maybe we need to be constantly reminded by this: …Offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness (Rom. 6:19 NIV).

Why is there no permanent reprieve? It’s alright to forgo understanding of the divine, of things we can hardly grasp, but when physical suffering is involved, one sometimes becomes a “spiritual zombie”. Beyond feeling. For a moment.

I have experienced a spirit-numbing kind of physical suffering. After the nth bout of the day, over an hour of wrestling with difficulties that pummelled the flesh, I am left wrung and beaten to a pulp. Spent. I try to think about the God whose name I had endlessly uttered in every painstaking incomplete breath while going through the storm of suffering. But the mind and spirit are as spent as the flesh.

Could one just stare blankly at the heavens? Could one just stand before the Almighty with silent painful questions? One wouldn’t even know how to start a prayer. If you have been pounding on heaven’s door day and night to beg God to please take away the suffering, that would He please heap up upon you His mercies and liberate you at last – but answer comes with more of the suffering, longer and more intense – what do you do then? Where do you go?

These were my questions to my husband as tears ran their course down my face. It’s painful, I told Him, to know that God doesn’t seem to hear your heartfelt pleas. But when he asked me if I wanted to undergo the “local version” of stem cell therapy for my healing that he’s been reading about, I asked tentatively, “What will they do to me?”

When he answered, I knew it isn’t for me. I mean, it isn’t for me to migrate my faith from the Greatest Physician to stem cell therapy or any other medical intervention. As I said this, I could sense the shining face of the Lord Jesus just above me. The tears streamed as I told my husband that my faith, and hence, my life, will always be in the hands of my Lord and King. And I knew for certain that He heard that one.

My fresh profession of faith has once again rekindled my fervent love for my Savior. It has brought me ever closer to Him. And I believe, that’s the greater blessing.

I hold this pearl in my hands, turning it this way and that, trying to squeeze it of its life-giving power.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)

 It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Why then do I sometimes live like Christ is dead in me? Why do I sometimes forget that His very life must give life to my whole being, therefore, I can avail of His very strength and power and wholeness?  Shall we let suffering paralyze our faith and make our love wax cold? Or shall we not yield ourselves to it and let it finish its course knowing that there is nothing the Lord allows to happen in our lives that He Himself had not planned nor foreseen the end of it?

Shall we not let suffering open new avenues on which we can come nearer to God? 

So, I will be talking constantly to Him as much as I want to talk about Him.

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. Mary Gemmill says:

    God BLESS you and KEEP you, dear Rina.
    There is not much anyone can offer you by way of encouragement as that comes from the Lord and through His WORD, but I wonder if you know that BECAUSE you write from a place of such deep and ongoing suffering- you minister to many- quite beautifully- in a way someone who was not suffering could not.

    NOT that I want you to go on suffering- i do not !

    I am just saying that I can see the outworking of Romans 8.28 in your life and writing- He is working ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR GOOD because you love Him and are called according to his purpose.

    Likewise, a melt-down I had last week is bringing about a change for good that would have not come had I not lost it completely!

    Do you know about the doctor in Florida who is helping fibromyalgia sufferers like my cousin- after 40 years of suffering she is not able to do many things she thought she would never do again, and is greatly released from pain./ She sent a blood test to this doctor and he gave her the special diet she needed. I am trying to find his name- but meanwhile you could google Florida doctor fibromyalgia.

    May blessings from the throne-room rain down upon you,. mighty woman of God!

    Love, Mary, New Zealand.

    • Mary Gemmill says:

      now able to do things- sorry for the typo!!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Oh, thank you so much, my good Lord! Mary, your words of love could just contribute to my healing! For someone to sit down and write me these beautiful words – I am so blessed! The love of my Lord is splashed all around me, wouldn’t you say? Thank you for your prayers, Mary. I will look up that doctor and/or research more about my illness (it was never diagnosed; I don’t even know what I have, but it greatly affects my cardio, respiratory, digestive, neuro, and muscles) so I could improve my diet and perhaps, alleviate my discomforts and suffering.

      Thank you. I can’t express my gratitude enough… Blessings rain down upon you, too, my friend.

  2. Hazel Moon says:

    May God grant you relief in however method he chooses to select for you. Sometimes it is a miracle, and other times he offeres treatment from those who have studied the body and medicine. May God grant you wisdom in daily choices. My husband has a similar malady but not the pain. He takes medicine, but that always has side effects. Now we pray and also search the internet for natural means and which food might help. Thank you for sharing at Tell Me a Story.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you so much for your prayer, Hazel. I think I will also search the Internet for the proper diet to help alleviate my discomforts and suffering.

  3. susan says:

    I am praying for you. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts – it is abundant blessing to all who cross your path.

  4. Val Young says:

    bless you

  5. Wow, I really believe God directed me here from the CMB linkup today. I just published a book about this very topic, based out of my own ongoing journey with chronic illness – responding biblically to life-altering physical suffering. I think you might be really encouraged by the hope and truth it shares. It’s called TOUCHING THE HEM: A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO PHYSICAL SUFFERING, and you can find it on Amazon (kindle version is on sale this week!) here: http://bit.ly/TTHKindle.

    I would love to chat with you more… send me an email if you want!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth! I will check out your book. You know, I have lived my suffering years imagining that I was approaching Jesus, touching the hem of is garment and finally being healed.

  6. God Bless you, Rina! Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with us!

    Praying for you!

  7. Rina, you have touched my heart. Sometimes it is so hard to see God through the suffering. I have asked so many questions through the loss of a mid-term baby, my Mom’s death from cancer, my baby girl’s stay in the NICU, loss of friendships, marital issues, financial crisis, the death of four of our pets, two children with severe allergies, etc. It has been a crazy few years and sometimes I poured my heart out to God, only to feel completely alone and deserted. God’s silence baffled me and I started to wonder if God still truly loved me or if I had somehow done something so awful to make God abandon me. Over time, the still small voice of God started creeping in until finally I realized that God is there, just as God was with Jesus on the cross. God watched His child tortured and killed and was there, just as God was with me through all that the past few years have brought me through and finally now there is…peace. The quiet moments of communication with God have returned and I don’t feel like it is one-sided with me just pouring my heart out and not hearing anything. I am hearing from God and my wilderness experience is coming to a close. God bless you, Rina. You are beautiful!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Thank you so much, Anne, for sharing your testimony here. Your story of hard trials and eventual triumph in the Lord has brought fresh hope, courage, inspiration, and strength in my unrelenting pursuit of God. I, too, am now in that place of renewing my faith and re-knowing my God and His love for me. I am stepping up the communication with Him in terms of fervency, frequency, and intensity. I pray, Anne, that you will continue to reap all that God has in store for you. I would like to return the compliment and say that you, too, my friend, are beautiful! Thank you!

  8. Barbie says:

    I am praying for you my friend. I suffer from joint pain and stiffness as a result of inflammation . I am also about 60lbs overweight. I so need to be healthy. At 47 I am not getting any younger. I will soon be entering into a detox and then hopefully changing my diet to exclude foods that cause inflammation. Will you say a prayer for me, for strength and obedience to His will. Praying you find some relief and that the Lord would grant you the healing which is yours as a daughter of the King!

    • RinaPeru says:

      I have begun praying for you, too, Barbie. I pray you’ll be feeling God’s great comfort in heart and body the soonest! We are near of age and I feel for you. May we receive the good health (and obedience to His will) we’re praying for.

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