Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Remembering Fanad Lighthouse, Donegal, Ireland: A Spiritual Analogy

September 10, 2011

Resilient in the face of stormy winds, lashing sea and cold cutting rain, it stands through good times and bad. Throughout the seasons, resolute against the skies, whether cloudless blue or black and threatening, it shines brightest on the darkest night and remains a symbol of comforting light and warning to those on peril on the stormy seas.

It is firmly founded upon the rock, for if it was built on sand, it would long ago have fallen to the crashing sea, storms and rain.

Like the lighthouse, the Christian’s life can receive a very personal battering and sadly sometimes when we are seriously attacked, we can also be lashed by tongues. At times like this we can understand something of the lot of Job whose ‘comforters’ (for the most part) were very quick to pass judgement in an unwise manner.

Thank God for the Book of Job which illustrates how God can draw us closer to Himself through the trauma of life’s bitter storms, for our latter end (like that of Job’s) will be victorious and enriched as He moulds us to be the individuals that He wants us to be. And we can also be now more equipped to counsel and comfort those who suffer too, as is illustrated by the words of 2Cor. 1v3&4… “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God.”

The Psalms, too, are full of exhortation to confide in Him, our Almighty Confidant and Counsellor… for who greater than this can we turn to? Psalm 91, which begins: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty,” is a Psalm of victory for the Christian who is on the receiving end of something which is challenging his faith.

And so the lighthouse remains strong in the face of bitter lashings and vile winds, because the rock is its foundation. Yet even this rock is not imperishable for some day, with every island of the sea, it will flee away. (Rev.16v20) But the Christian’s life is built on that Eternal Rock; the Rock of Ages, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord, the Rock of my salvation, please help me to remain calm in the midst of life’s fierce storms and enable me to love thee more and more…

“When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee…” (Isaiah 43v2)

January 11, 2011

I have experienced a few troubled waters in my lifetime – but none so deep as those which presently threaten to overwhelm me. In recent weeks one minor problem after another trickled in to irritate my normally very happy existence and then the ultimate tsunami came crashing in when a loved one became seriously ill and was taken to hospital. Sometimes the events in our lives are so painful that we have no desire to convey how we feel to others. We feel numb, sick at heart, filled with grief…

One bleak night I sat alone, praying and the Lord gave me these words… “When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43v2)

My faith is in the Holy One of Israel – and I rest in the knowledge that He will take care of it all. These days prayer is my constant companion. Under the present circumstances, when people say “Happy New Year” to me, I just nod uncomprehendingly.

What will this year hold for any of us? I only know that Jesus is my Saviour – and that He will take care of every concern and heavy burden that I lay at His feet. Is He your Saviour today? If not, please trust Him; life is difficult for me at present but I know that it would be twice as difficult if I had no access to the peace which passes all understanding. This is a simple little verse (written many years ago now) which sums up my attitude to every New Year…

I cannot know the future,

No more than change the past,

But on Jesus Christ my Saviour –

My every care I’ll cast.

Sometimes trauma and suffering in a Christian’s life can ultimately give birth to words which will touch the lives of others long after he has gone to be with the Saviour. I love the hymn “O Love that wilt not let me go” by George Matheson. The author was visually impaired but knew other suffering in his life. This hymn, the fruit of George Matheson’s suffering, lives on to inspire and comfort, for it expresses the Christian’s glorious hope in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and in His Victory on our behalf, over sin and death and hell. Praise God for His great love and compassion for all of us! If you still do not know Him as Friend, why not repent and take His hand today?  If you do, these final two verses of the hymn will have meaning in your life, when the waters deepen…

“O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to Thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from Thee,

I lay in dust life’s glory dead,

And from the ground there blossoms red

Life that shall endless be.”  http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/l/oltwnlmg.htm

Links to this hymn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puWksKkI3Lc