Pastor’s Pen August 9, 2017

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10eternal life

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

The magazines in hospital waiting rooms leave a lot to be desired. This is the orthopedic wing after all. It occurs to me looking around the room that not a soul is likely to appreciate “Ski Utah” or “Outside Magazine’s” most recent ratings of sub-zero sleeping bags. On the other hand, “This Old House” has a certain appeal.

We’re all under renovation. Eventually our doors and windows need to be replaced. Our pipes wear out or need a visit from Roto Rooter. Unlike the ads in the magazine, we don’t get much choice about the hardware they put in our hearts or shoulders or knees. It only occurs to us later that from now on we’ll have the power to make the alarm bells go off while walking through airport security given the $900 screws and plates holding us together. It would be easy to get depressed about this, the slow falling apart and ever more expensive renovations needed to keep our parts in order and moving.

And yet, those of us seasoned by the years keenly understand that our furnaces still fire by the grace of God and the miracles of modern medicine. Our grandmothers suffered bent over, our grandfather’s broken, hobbling under the weight of infirmities whose treatment would come long after their departure to glory. How can we not express overwhelming gratitude for what we have, even when certain days remind us of what we have not?

As people of faith we recall that out of suffering comes resilience and strength, and that God has our backs and everything else whether we live or whether we die. Every joy born of suffering bears the scars of broken places made well.

Prayer: Thank you God for loving these humble bones and sinews, made by you in your image and for your purpose. Grant us yet one more day to love and to serve you with whatever we’ve got. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V.