Why is their Pain? (3) Pray for Susan in Poland

Point 3 is one of those “that’s easy for you to say” kind of points. As I considered this topic, I came across a current IMB missionary in Poland, Susan Reed. During the early 2000’s she watched her precious child Elizabeth die from a rare neurological disease. In her Article, In the Midst of the Storms, I find God’s Grace Sufficient, she says:

On Saturday, June 8, at 8:15 p.m., as Elizabeth’s classmates were on a bus heading to church camp, Elizabeth went home to be with her beloved Jesus. Jesus had answered our prayers of complete healing. She was out of pain in the presence of her Lord whom she loved with all her heart.

Susan Reed went on to serve in Poland and has been there as Catholics flocked to Poland after the death of the Pope.

This is what I humbly learn from Susan’s painful story.

Point #3 – In reaction to pain, we must choose faith.

Job stands as an example of a man who lost everything. He had just been informed that his children were killed, profits stolen, and buildings destroyed. Here is his response:

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:

“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Job 1: 20-22

My mother always says “It is easy to have faith for someone else but difficult to have it for yourself.”

It is also difficult to have it for those we love. So we’ve learned that pain is an attention getter and forces us to attend to our body and our soul. We’ve also learned that sometimes pain is in God’s plan. (I do not profess to understand it!)

Today we learn that when we experience pain that we can only respond with faith – because when we or someone we know is hurting – an explanation just doesn’t cut it!

In fact, that was the problem with Job’s friends – they were full of explanations and no sympathy! They thought there was a reason but guess what – there wasn’t a reason that could be understood this side of heaven!

As I have read about Paul Brand, the man who discovered the cause of leprosy. (See Day 1), I came across this amazing quote:

“Brand decided to stop looking at life as a polarity: avoid painful experiences, seek pleasurable ones. Rather he would first ask, ‘Is this what God wants me to do?’ If so, whatever came along, whether pleasant or unpleasant provided an opportunity for him to experience faith.” (x)

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

A rewarder? Why not just heal me? Why not just heal my parents or my spouse or my friend – that’s all I want.

Any healing is only temporary, for until Jesus returns, we all must die when it is time. We’re created to want to preserve ourselves. We do not like change. We don’t like pain but we fear death.

1 Corinthians 15:55
“ O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

So today as we discuss this difficult topic, I’d like us to pray for a woman who knows and understands this, Susan Reed in Poland. I’d also like to pray for each of us to have wisdom to comfort and love those who are experiencing pain and to have strong faith when we experience it ourselves.

Lord, thank you so very much for loving us. Thank you that your Son understands the greatest of physical and spiritual pain. Please allow each of us to comfort those in our lives who are experiencing pain. We wrestle with uncertainty and doubt, Lord because we are human. Help us to focus on You and remember that Your promises are true and sometimes we will not understand things this side of heaven. Lord, thank you for the example of faithful missionary Susan Reed as she watched her precious daughter die. Encourage and help her in Poland today. Be with her as she is treated as a person who is in “a cult” by those who do not understand what it means to have a relationship with Christ. Let us be Jesus today! In Jesus Christ name. Amen.

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