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I don't KNOW suffering...
Everything is not always EASY for me...
I have for sure felt PAIN and DISCOMFORT.
But, last night, as I held a neighbor, a battered wife,
As I felt her body shake with FEAR... and SOBS...
LORD, I do not know SUFFERING!
Under the cover of darkness, as we prayed and cried together,
I ENCOUNTERED suffering.
Then, she dried her eyes, she stood tall and walked back into her home... back toward her abuser...
Determined to face what she felt God was asking her to face.
I had NO ADVICE to give...
I wanted her to stay in my home with me, safe for the night - she refused.
But, I could only watch her walk...
Back toward SUFFERING.
All night long, even now, I am continually praying for her!
And recognizing that I don't KNOW suffering!
And, I'm scared to repeat this verse - but, I'm saying it now...
If it means that I will KNOW You more closely, LORD,
Let me also share in YOUR suffering!
For my determined purpose is that I may know Him -
that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly,
and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection,
and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death.