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Christian living, Life's Challenges, Personal living

Things I’ve Learned From Those Who Suffer

010 | Suffer

(Photo credit: The Doctr)

I love talking to people who have suffered greatly.

When I meet someone who has suffered, whether physically, emotionally, financially, or spiritually, I take the time to talk to them, to pick their brains, to dig into their experience. I want to know what they went through, how they felt, how they made it through, what they learned, how they changed.

No one emerges from suffering unchanged. These folk have discovered what it is to really live, the value of life and relationships. They know the importance of perspective and priorities. Life has taught them lessons you can’t put a price tag on; it has tempered their resolve, strengthened their courage, sharpened their wisdom. God has shown them a side of himself few get to see.

For them, suffering has been a blessing. And they’ll be the first ones to admit that.

I need that reminder, that refresher course in what really matters in life. In the midst of the busyness of life and the constant battle with expectations and desires and pressure, I need to be refocused by these folk.

Here is a sampling of life lessons I’ve learned from people who have traversed the Valley of the Shadow of Death:

  • Relationships are what matter most, not success or image or climbing some ladder to nowhere.
  • God is there even if you can’t feel his presence.
  • It’s okay to be honest with God. He’s big enough to hear us put a voice to our emotions.
  • Suffering is temporary. No matter how long you have to endure it, an end will come.
  • When I am weak, then I am strong.
  • It’s okay to accept help from others, they are God’s messengers of grace.
  • When you have nothing else to hold on to, God is still there.
  • When God is silent, that’s when he’s holding us tight.
  • Suffering can be a blessing in disguise.

A challenge: Take the time to talk to those who have suffered. And if you’ve suffered, take the time to talk about it to others. You have wisdom they need to hear.

A Question: What have you learned either from your own suffering or from the experiences of others who have suffered?

(I invite you to visit my other blog, too:

About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.


5 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned From Those Who Suffer

  1. Seeing the things you have listed it is very clear you have ben there. They are right on. I think in my case it has helped me see other peoples feelings, hurts and anger. I think God understands the anger. When I see people walking with their spouses shopping, going in book shops, looking at antiques or at a fair, I do have to be careful. I am jealous, which is wrong. I think, don’t they realize how lucky they are. When I try to do that all I can think about is the pain in every step I take. With all my replacements and the rods in the back and the screws and fusions it is so tiring. My shoulders are now wearing and when I lie down I have to lay both arms on pillows above my head. I would go back to hard work and live in 2 rooms like when I was first married to be healthy. Yet through all this I have a friend in stage 4 cancer and I know she would give anything to trade places with me physically. We cry and pray a lot together. My being this way makes me so sensitive to other people suffering. Maybe my job in this life really is to just be a prayer warrior. It may not seem like much of a job but if God asks it of me, I am trying to accept that it is important, even if only in his eyes. After all I am here to please and live for him. Look what he did for me. Something I could never repay.

    Posted by Terri Conrad | July 25, 2012, 7:10 am
    • Terri, thank you for refocusing me this morning. You’ve blessed me. And being a prayer warrior is the most important, most influential, most powerful job anyone could have. You are on the front lines battling every day for others. There’s no greater calling than that. Thank you!

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | July 25, 2012, 7:25 am
  2. A good Word. Thank you for sharing. I know that God always brings you out … so that you can go back in and help others.
    Blessings, Ted and Carol

    Posted by pastorappreciationblog | July 25, 2012, 9:45 am
  3. Mike, I can’t say suffering was a blessing. What I CAN say is that looking back on that suffering, what I learned from it IS a blessing, and how much closer I came to better knowing and understanding God’s prevenient grace, mercy and love is the greatest blessing of all. I’ve been through some unbelievable things in my life, including but not limited to watching my husband struggle for eight years with terminal cancer, escaping murder by the skin of my teeth from a stalker, and having an illness scare myself. Now, having come through them, I have much to share with those who are being tried with such things now. I want to say one thing about all of these. “I am with you always, even to the end of the earth.” … “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Promises kept.

    Posted by donnalynndavisDonnalynn | July 26, 2012, 9:12 am
  4. I would love to see your perspective permeate other believers. All too often we are quick to speak and slow to listen which is not what James admonished us to do. I will say that losing my home in a house fire was a blessing…in time. The trial was long and hard, but that’s why we go through the valley and not camp out and live there. Thank you for your words. They breathe life.

    Posted by livinginthevine | August 22, 2012, 9:44 am

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July 2012
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