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The High Call of Suffering

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our affliction
so that we will be able to comfort those who are in
any affliction with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
– II Corinthians 1:3-4

I never cease to be amazed at how God works!

We cannot understand our suffering or His silence to our passionate pleas. We endure loss, loneliness, rejection, financial hardship, grief–all sorts of painful things and wonder why we have to be the one enduring this trial. We entreat the Lord for healing and it doesn’t come. We request prayers from family and friends and there is still no respite from the pain we are experiencing. “Why, Lord, why must I go through this wretched time? Why, Lord? Why? I don’t understand.”

Then, quite unexpectedly, some hurting person–possibly someone you’ve never met before–enveloped in despair and fear and confusion comes into your life and you find yourself saying, “Oh, come sit down and let me talk to you. I understand! I’ve been through that very same thing. Let me tell you what happened and how the Lord brought comfort and strength and understanding.”

II Corinthians 1: 3-4 (above) has just become a part of our life and we suddenly grasp that through this suffering He has prepared us to minister to someone else. He is allowing us to share His unfathomable love with others. And they will listen. Why? Because we’ve been there. We understand.

I wrote a letter just the other day to a mother who had placed her mentally challenged child in a home. She was groping for her sanity! Why would a letter from me be a special word for her? Because I had experienced that same loss, the same guilt, and desperate longing. She was encouraged because I had been there. I understood.

How special you are to God as He patiently, lovingly teaches you, knowing that someone who is hurting just as you have been hurting will be crossing your path before too long. Somehow the Lord will bring that person into your life and you will be able to answer the questions they ask from the darkness of their desperation and suffering.

To be used by God to His glory. Suffering is truly a high calling, isn’t it?

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.