Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
So, Tuesday night we had prayer meeting at GFA. The weather was decent for the first time so I decided to ride my bicycle for the first time in a long time. Our prayer meeting progressed and about 9PM I started my trip home. Now, I need to tell you my bicycle and I don’t always get along. I started my trip home for the 0.2 miles I ride. I turned into my driveway and hit the brakes. For some reason I guess my bike decided that stop meant stop and the back tire literally lifted off the ground and made me lose my balance. I ended up falling down on my knees and on then on my left side. I didn’t think I was too seriously hurt but laid there for a few minutes praying that my arthritic knees weren’t going to be a problem. I then got up, parked my bike (maybe forever) and walked into the house. I felt pretty good but I noticed some pain on the right side of my stomach. I wondered if I didn’t give myself a hernia or something.
The next day at work was tough as I could barely bend my right leg as I walked. For those of you who may be old enough to remember the old Gunsmoke TV show, I reminded myself of Chester. Poor ole Chester never did get rid of that limp!! So I went home last night thinking this may possibly not be a good thing, necessarily.
So, I tell you all that to tell you this story. Today, I got up really late for me and knew that I would be late for a special morning of prayer we had from 8 to 11:30. I got up slowly and noticed the pain in my groin was gone. I thought maybe I could do my knee exercises that I am supposed to do. Bad idea! The pain in my right side came back though not as bad as yesterday. I got ready and hopped into my car for another 0.2 mile drive. Once I got into the chapel I joined the prayer time that was already in progress. For one of the segments a microphone was passed around for anyone to share things they were thankful about. I decided I was not going to say anything. But as the time went on, I heard stories of people who were going through a lot of pain of some kind. Now, pain is not my friend, and I would be happy anytime it decided to leave me. But I also know, it is a part of life especially at my age. As I listened to people share, I thought of several staff persons I know who are experiencing a lot of physical pain. After a time, I decided I needed to share.
So I put my hand up and soon a microphone was passed to me. I proceeded to tell the story of my rogue bicycle. The story made people laugh which is something I always try to do when it’s appropriate. But it ended with a point that I haven’t mentioned in this blog yet. As I was getting ready this morning, I was talking with God about being in pain. I wasn’t really complaining, but I was telling him, it makes life really tough for us, His people. As I did that, I was struck with a thought, “What about My pain??” (OK, this gets a little weird and really doesn’t happen to me much in my walk with the Lord). It’s almost like I responded, “excuse me???” Again, “what about My pain? Do you ever think what I went through to bring you to Me? If any of you saw the movie The Passion of the Christ that came out a few years ago, you got a glimpse of what Christ went through on our behalf. The physical pain of Christ came through in the movie, I’m not sure if the emotional pain of being separated from the father came through. I thought about this and just said, “Sorry, Lord. You’re right! I spent a little time in confession and repentance.
Back to the prayer time this morning. I ended my speaking time with my manly deep voice that happens to me when I start to get emotional. I told the audience that we all have our struggle with pain of some kind. Whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual, we all face it. I then told them about my little episode in the paragraph above about thinking of our Lord’s pain. The bottom line, I told them, is that God is still with us no matter what we go through. Times are hard and will most likely get harder. But our God is always with us.
My little talk with God this morning reminded me of Job. I doubt if any of us have suffered as much as Job. Job got tired and even angry at God. He asked questions. But God never really answered them. Instead, in Job 38-39 God revealed his power and glory to Job. After hearing all that God had to say, Job could only come up with one small response: “Behold, I am vile, what shall I answer you? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:4-5) It is not, by any means, pleasant to suffer pain of any kind. But God understands our pain. It may not seem like it and our prayers may not be answered the way we want. But through humility and submission to Him, there is strength. Job ended up better than he was before everything started to go wrong. That may or may not happen in our case. But through our suffering, the God of all comfort will be there with us to comfort us, so we in turn can comfort others (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). May God give us grace to endure any suffering that comes our way and may we be a comfort to others. Blessings to you my dear friends!