Encouragement in Suffering

This last week in the Heck household has brought many trials. Ben is being tested for everything under the sun due to tinnitus, headache, and facial numbness. Each test so far has come back negative, which has ruled out some of the scarier possibilities (like M.S.). We are praying the final diagnosis will be treatable!

Another trial came up in the midst of that that we are healing from as well. We are SO thankful for our tribe of friends who have rallied around us and are blessing us beyond measure. We have had multiple babysitters, coffee and ice cream bringers, and dinner makers this week! I don’t know what we would do without them!

My (amazing) mother-in-law sent me this earlier today to encourage me:

“‘The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.’ (Psalm 138:8)
There is a divine mystery in suffering, one that has a strange and supernatural power and has never been completely understood by human reason. No one has ever developed a deep level of spirituality or holiness without experiencing a great deal of suffering. When a person who suffers reaches a point where he can be calm and carefree, smiling at his own suffering, and no longer asking God to be delivered from it, then the suffering has accomplished its blessed ministry, perseverance has “finish[ed] its work” (James 1:4), and the pain of the Crucifixion has begun to weave itself into a crown.
It is in this experience of complete suffering that the Holy Spirit works many miraculous things deep within our soul.
In this condition, our entire being lies perfectly still under the hand of God; every power and ability of the mind, will, and heart are at last submissive; a quietness of eternity settles into the entire soul; and finally, the mouth becomes quiet, having only a few words to say, and stops crying out the words Christ quoted on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps. 22:1).
At this point the person stops imagining castles in the sky, and pursuing foolish ideas, and his reasoning becomes calm and relaxed, with all choices removed, because the only choice has now become the purpose of God. Also, his emotions are weaned away from other people and things, becoming deadened so that nothing can hurt, offend, hinder, or get in his way.
He can now let the circumstances be what they may, and continue to seek only God and His will, with the calm assurance that He is causing everything in the universe, whether good or bad, past or present, to work “for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28).
Oh, the blessings of absolute submission to Christ! What a blessing to lose our own strength, wisdom, plans, and desires and to be where every ounce of our being
becomes like a peaceful Sea of Galilee under the omnipotent feet of Jesus! The main thing is to suffer without becoming discouraged.
François Fénelon
The heart that serves,and loves, and clings, Hears everywhere the rush of angel wings.”
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