It seems of late that members of my family has had a number of health issues that have brought new challenges and trials. It is always upsetting when “bad” things happen to good people. I take comfort that throughout the ages men and women of faith have suffered and not only kept their faith, but have had it strengthened. Such it was with Paul the apostle. In his article “Perils of Paul”, John Tvedtnes cites these passages of holy rite:
“In his second epistle to the Corinthians, Paul notes the various trials and tribulations he had suffered for his faith in Christ. He noted that he had served “in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonment’s, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings … By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true” (2 Corinthians 6:4-5, 8)
He added that, “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me … Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7).
I am not sure I will ever “glory in my infirmities” as did Paul, but I do find great comfort and hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This life can often be trying and require hard work and devotion to duty. But I believe that we are eternal and that tough work results in marks on working hands identifiable by the carpenter of Nazareth! The understanding of which, uplifts, encourages, and inspires!