Tag Archives: God loves you

Suffering? Growthful, Forming and Transforming.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, July 25, 2015

Romans 5-3,4 word cloud

Suffering? Growthful, Forming and Transforming.

Long day on the road, coming back from the New Wilmington Mission Conference. As I turned to the chapter for the day today, I reflected on the past week. The topic for today is Suffering. Suffering for the sake of Christ, as well as the mystery of suffering.

At the mission conference, we prayed for the persecuted church. We prayed for different areas on different days. My thoughts went to them, as well as my heart, no matter where. Nigeria, Egypt, Central Asia, Vietnam. These were just a few of the places we prayed for. We prayed for the churches, the individual believers, the governments ruling over the countries, and so much more. God, please be with them all.

This modern psalm moved me so profoundly. However, I was struck by one verse in particular. The verse is taken from John 9 and 1 Peter 3. “Let me never believe that my suffering is Your punishment for sin,/since doing what is right can lead to suffering too.” [1]

Doing what is right? Yes, that can lead to pain and suffering. What about Romans 5:3b-4? Paul says, as plain as day, “we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

It breaks my heart—again—to hear people saying, straight out, “God is punishing me for my sins.” Sure, if someone breaks the law, they deserve the punishment meted out by the law. But there is grace. Mercy. Abundant love. Whatever is going on in people’s lives, whether it’s on the inside or the outside, whether it’s pain-filled death or painful health situation; even when pain comes about through machinations and manipulations. God loves me. God loves you.

God loves the whole world. What part of “whole world” do you not understand? God, help me to come alongside of persons who are suffering. Dear God, help me to listen. Thank You, Amen.

[1] Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 185.


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Praying through Doing—an Act of Kindness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 13, 2015

valentine plate of cookies

Praying through Doing—an Act of Kindness

Another day, another surprise. My prayer suggestion for the day was to make contact with a sick or old person in a home or residence, and let them know that God loves them.

All right. I know a number of nursing homes or senior residences. All of the senior residences I’m familiar with have chaplains and people who regularly visit and are in touch with the seniors who live there. Thank God for these caring, friendly people who watch out for the seniors!

However, I also know of another kind of residence, for people of all ages who have limited incomes. One of my friends recently retired from the residence, so he knows all of the people who live there. A few of these are people who truly have no one else in their lives. Just the single room in the residence, a small stipend or retirement payment, and no other relatives. None.

I asked my friend for a few names of those who are alone and lonely. Sure enough, he came through. He gave me two names. It being February 13, I went to the store and bought two nice, cheery Valentine’s Day cards. I wrote out a friendly greeting to both people, and closed with, “God loves you very much. All of God’s blessings be with you today!” I addressed both cards, and dropped them off with the employee in the residence foyer.

Since I have a number of siblings and children, and my husband has some close relatives, too, I have absolutely no idea what it would be like to have no one. No person to care whether I was sick or in the hospital, or even whether I lived or died. Upon serious reflection, I am glad I wrote those cards.

I know this is a lovey-dovey weekend, a time for hearts and flowers, a time for romance and closeness. But it is also a weekend when people who do not have a significant other or family or even friends to wish them a happy Valentine’s Day could be quite sad. Lonelier than usual. Down in the dumps. Even, depressed. My suggestion? Write them a note. Send them a card. Pay a visit and give them a little Valentine cupcake. Or candy heart. Or small flowering plant, if their diet is restricted. Spread the sunshine!

And, don’t forget to tell them: “God loves you very much. All of God’s blessings be with you today!”

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.