Life can be cruel and throw hefty burdens upon us when we least expect it. We try to continue on the journey laid before us and easily slip and fall into the murky mire of pain and sorrow. Detached, depressed disappointed and desperate we shake our fist crying out “Unfair” to the heavens out of a misguided perception of what life is truly about. We forget that it is “not what happens around us, but what happens within us” that truly matters. (Debbie Alsdorf, author of the 30 Day Faith Dare).
What an honor when someone invites us into their world to share the burden of their pain through the miracle of prayer. To be that listening ear, compassionate heart and possibly a soft shoulder to cry upon is a great gift. It is an earthly reflection of the heavenly hope we have in Christ as we lift our burdens to Him. As we “daily cast our cares on Him for He cares for us”, we are better poised to remember that He is not as much concerned with our circumstances as He is our character.
“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
Elisabeth Elliot~ Keep a Quiet Heart
These last two weeks my home has been a flurry of unexpected guests here at the Missions Ranch. Missionaries come from all over needing a place to stay, a soft bed to sleep on and prayer for the next part of their journey. Often they bring myriad of challenges along with them. Hungry and tired, flat tires and dirty washing, my days have been interrupted from “My important” to “Their Urgent” and that is okay. It is all a part of who we are and what we do as faith missionaries.
Amongst these precious folk are a few who are dealing with serious health issues. The challenges of serving the Lord as faith missionaries and dealing with systemic infections, dengue, cancer are devastating. It seems insurmountable. However, there was a thread of commonality in each of their stories, their undying hope in the Almighty Power of One they can’t see but know He is with them in all things.
I have spent many hours listening, and praying with these precious saints and I am touched. This is what I hear from them.
It’s not about what happens, to me. This (illness) will not define who I am.
It is about Him and what He longs to do within me.
If you are going through the fire today, if you feel overwhelmed with burden and sorrow, please stop and take a look at the Word of God and the lives of those heroes of the faith who touch us with moments of greatness. I love to look at Joseph and Paul and the little nameless slave girl who through her faith saved a ruler from leprosy. And what about the woman who suffered for 14 long years the shame of a disease whereby she was unable to even receive a comforting hug during her affliction? What faith rose during these storms of life and their stories of triumph linger still today. We stand amongst the giants when we read of their faith, yet it is not them but HIM who built it up through His love and grace in the the first place.
“No words can express how much the world owes to sorrow.
Most of the Psalms were written in the wilderness.
Most of the Epistles were written in a prison.
The greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers have all passed through the fire…
Take comfort afflicted Christian!
When God is about to make preeminent use of a man, He puts him in the fire.”
Scottish author and Christian Minister (1824-1905).Stasia is mother to six beautiful children and wife to a dedicated, loving husband. They have served as a family together on the mission field on four continents for nearly 29 years. Stasia’s passion is to share in true colors the grace of God in her life. You can read more about her and the ministry of the Women’s Bible Cafe here. Meet Missionary Mom and Ministry Leader Stasia Nielsen If this article has blessed you in any small way, please consider showing your support by clicking subscribe in the upper right corner.
Thank you for another glimpse into your life as a Missionary Mom. What a blessing to share hospitality with those serving the Lord…
Christine, Thank you so much for the encouragement. It means the world to me that you take time form your busy schedule to read and comment on my articles. I pray that He will lavish His extravagant love on you today.
Thank you for this. You write so beautifully.
Thank you Cindy, My deepest prayer in writing is that I am sensitive to the Holy Spirit and write what will encourage others to devote their all to The Lord.
I love reading your posts, you write so beautifully, your words inspire me every day. May God send you an abundance of blessings to you, your family, and those you touch through your ministry.
Sending you lots of love, your sister in God
Dearest Gina, Thank you so very much for the encouragement. It meant the world to me today. May the Lord richly bless you today.
You are very welcome!!!! <3
I thank you so much Stasia for these wonderful word. I was feeling pretty low yesterday after I tried being someone’s friend and she really took a stab at my heart. It was so hurtful. I asked Jesus, Why do people not like me and he said, “I love you. Remember my child, not everyone liked me.” This was a glimpse of hope and comfort. I shared this with a friend and she took the knife that the other person put in my heart and had it dug deeper. She said to me, In honesty, people are not your friend because you are high on Jesus then you go back to your self pity and that really irritates people. Words are so hurtful. I am glad for her honesty but words do hurt so I am trying to hold comfort to Jesus’ words by him loving me.
Dearest Deanna, Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your pain, but I do know that in Romans 8:28 it says…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. Keep giving your heart over to the Lord and He will be there for you in all things.
Thank-you Stasia! Love your writing and your heart! It always inspires me!
Dearest Melinda, Thank you for what you shared in your blog. It really blessed my heart as well. I pray that the Lord will lavish His extravagant love on you today and always.
You are a woman of honor Stasia, I read that first paragraph, and It was so special to me and a wow moment for me, ( I copied and paste on my facebook page) Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to write these words. I also think a lot about Joseph and Paul very much,(favorites of the Bible) strong faith, the way they loved the Lord that they went way above and beyond.
I truly love your writing, the Glory belongs to God. May he give you the strength you need to continue your journey, until the Lord comes for us!!
Dearest Isabel, Thankyou so much for your encouragement. Yes, Paul, Joseph, David and so many others who have gone before us have been a cord of hope to me when I am in the valley of discouragement. I am so grateful we have these stories of hope and faith in the Word to light our path. Thank You Lord for the Wisdom and Comfort You give us in You Word.
Thank you dear Isabel, may you rest in His Mighty Grace today.
I love the reminder that God’s concern is really our character. It reminds me to check my perspective and remember to trust His vision over mine!!!
What a wonderful post. I love your insight and how you pull it all together. You write so beautifully, I love stopping by your blog for encouragement!
Dearest Lisa, Thank you so much and I do enjoy stopping by your site as well. I love having you in my groups. May the Lord richly bless you tonight and always.