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Don’t Waste the Suffering

It had been a very hard day. LeRoy’s pain has been intense, and I’m unable to alleviate his suffering. So far, I’m managing to be out of his line of vision when the tears start spilling. I’m not wanting to add to the weight he’s carrying right now. The time will come for us to cry together, but not yet. Right now, I need to continue to be a strong and smiling encouragement for him.

He told me this phrase has been running through his thoughts in his half-asleep state at night: “Don’t waste the suffering . . .”

And I assured him that he’s not.

He’s not wasting the pain, the laying down of himself in surrender to the Father’s will, he’s not wasting one moment of it. He’s interceding for others in his pain. He’s whispering Scriptures and worship songs—even through the pain, even when it’s only me and him, he’s showing me more of Christ as he moves further into the fellowship of sufferings with his Savior.

When he’s with others, just as he’s always done, he continues to gently shine the gospel—not as an obnoxious blinding investigator’s light—but as a steady candle’s warm glow.

He’s the same as always: kind, considerate, thinking of others, burdened with the care of the church—out of love for his flock, and placing other’s needs before his own. He’s the same as always, except for the pain and the debilitating illness that is sucking the life from his body.

This is hard.

In one of my teary, by myself moments, my precious Molly sent me a song and her timing was perfect. I’m grateful for her sensitivity to the Spirit. This song quotes from Job (remember the book God put on my heart to study for 2017?):

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him . . .” (Job 13:15)

Job didn’t understand the purpose of his suffering, not until the very end. But through his intense suffering, he worshiped, and he never doubted God’s righteous character . . . which is why the suffering was so confusing to Job. He felt he was undeserving of the amount of pain God was inflicting on him, but what he didn’t realize was that, the pain was performing a glorious work within him.

Job was experiencing that glorious work that only comes through the fellowship of suffering in the crucible of affliction with God.  

This song closes with an audio clip from John Piper’s message: “The Glory of God in the Sight of Eternity,” where he describes the meaningful nature of pain and suffering.

“Every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience . . . matters.”

Piper uses 2 Corinthians 4:16–18 to challenge us to not look to what is “seen, but what is unseen” (this reference was my Scripture verse from 2016) and finally, “Do not lose heart!” which was the phrase in my personal focus passage from 2016 and this year’s Scripture passage:

[box]Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God we . . .

do not lose heart.

(2 Corinthians 3:17–4:1, emphasis mine)[/box]

Thank you, Molly, for ministering to me by sending us this song. May you, our precious blog readers, receive a comforting work of the Spirit, as well, as you listen:

11 Comments

  • Melinda Thomas

    As I continue to pray for the two of you I can’t even imagine your suffering. Leroy you will always amaze me with the strength you have. What a great man of God you are to be able to still see through your pain. Love you cousin more than you will ever know!

  • Jamie

    Dear Kimberly, my heart aches for you and I am praying for your husband. Please know that your pain is not meaningless. God is using you in the midst of your trials to encourage me in the midst of mine. Know that you are loved by many and that God is still using you and your husband to minister to the hurting and the weary in trial and tribulation.

  • Gail

    We can only pray and praise God for both of your testimony’s for the Glory of the LORD! Praying for LeRoy’s pain, and for your hearts helpless pain. God is already being Glorified through this suffering, and many of us along with you, wish we could take part of it from him. May God ease his pain and continue to help him through it. Much love and prayers sent your way.

  • Pauline Butler

    Wow! What a powerful song and message! Thank you, Kim, for continuing to share your burden with us! God is bringing glory to Himself through your testimony. He is using you to bless so many others in the midst of your storm as well as bringing blessings to you from so many. Lifting you and LeRoy before His throne of grace, trusting that you will “obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb.4:16). My heart truly goes out to you as a loving caregiver. Being the caregiver of one who is suffering is a special calling from the Lord. But that does not make it easy. It is one of the most difficult-emotionally and physically draining-responsibilities one could ever have; yet, it is one of the most rewarding. God has counted you both worthy to go through this time of suffering. He will carry you through. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning…Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord.”

  • Sandra Diehl

    Once again I read and I cry. Bless you both. Thank you for staying close to the Lord and sharing your truth and love and even pain. Praying for you to be blessed as you go though this time.
    Much love, hugs

  • Donna

    Kimberly and LeRoy,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you both. I pray for you both daily that he will give you strength,peace and discernment in what he would have you do. Sending you hugs.
    Donna

  • Vivian

    Kim, you and LeRoy continue to be on my heart and in my prayers daily! Yours and Leroy’s faith lived out in this trial is both challenging and encouraging! No, he is not wasting this suffering and neither are you! Your strength in the LORD is evident; at the same time I am glad you share your human frailty. Your tears…..Kim, they are precious and the Lord has them all! Thankful for His presence and His love that you are experiencing daily. God is using this in ways you probably won’t ever even know. This from New Morning Mercies: “God, for your good and His glory, has chosen to keep you for a while in this broken-down world. He has chosen to employ the hardships of this world to complete the work that He has begun in you. He does not leave you alone.He does not leave you without resources. He blesses you with His new morning mercies. But He has you right where He wants you.” Love you!

  • Tim Linkletter

    It sounds as if you’ve been through some suffering and I’m sorry for that, this post caught my eye, it was most likely a very difficult one to write. I don’t know your whole story but know that I’m praying for you, the poignancy of this is not lost on me and your sharing is so ministering. I feel in my own heart that when I share people really don’t want to hear or they just want to move on from what your in and most likely, on this side of eternity, will never move on from.

    We lost our firstborn July 15th this year, he was killed in a car accident. We’re in the midst of trying to see what this post looks like in reality, as you are. What is the nature of suffering when they’re just not there anymore, they’re just gone, like they never were. When they walk out the door of your home and into eternity. Don’t get me wrong, we’re glad to have the assurance of graces that he left for us, assurances of his true treasure Jesus.

    On our side the void is real and know that Justin has an unveiled hope of what is veiled to us. Come lift up your sorrows was a song we listened to, by Michael Card, many times and especially the day of his memorial.

    Thank you for sharing and God’s grace to you on your continued journey through this valley.

    Tim