When I was seventeen I contracted amoebic dysentery in a Papua New Guinean village while volunteering at a youth camp. I thought I might die. I could not keep anything inside me but when I stood up for the necessary bathroom visit, I fainted. My mother, a nurse by profession, held my forehead while all my bodily fluids escaped with projectile force. At night, as soon as I cried, “I need help,” my father’s feet hit the floor and raced down the hall to come to my aid. My mother soothed and my dad strengthened. I needed both for comfort in my suffering.
On March 22, 2022, I had the honor of teaching a message on Matthew 16 and 17 to the Tuesday Morning Bible Study at my church. Here is a written version of my message or you may watch the video.
Public insults. Conflict. Persecution. Prison. Confiscated Property. The readers of the the New Testament letter of Hebrews experienced all this in the early days of their walk with Jesus. While I cannot attest to this kind of suffering, I do know trial—wrecked car, bureaucracy headaches, ant infestation, health issues, the passing of loved ones. Like the early Christians, I too need the author’s counsel on facing trying times.
My devotional asks me, "What can I do to relieve the fears of others?" I am stopped short. I have been exacerbating fears, not relieving them.
As the future of her precious son grew more bleak, Mary waited nearby for news, speculating, praying, crying.