Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering “stinks,” and it’s hard to understand why these things happen. Sadly, in our world we will see or go through pain, suffering, and hardships. I think this is why we have the Book of Job– we can see from Job’s example that no matter what happens in our life that we are to continue to praise God. Yes, it is hard to praise God when things feel like they are falling apart but when there is nothing or no one else, God is still there, and there is also the body of Christ.

The Bible tells us to “…pray for each other...” (James 5:16, NIV), and to “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Gal 6:2, NIV). As Christians, we are all the body of Christ, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it…” (1 Cor 12:26, NIV).

I think there are some people who are afraid that they will not know what to say to someone who is suffering, or maybe they are uncomfortable seeing someone’s pain and hardship. I have found that most of the time, people who are suffering just need a hug– no words, just a hug.

If you are experiencing hardships, pain, and/or suffering, then I hope that you have found someone to walk with you in your suffering; and if you have suffered in the past, then I hope that you will walk with someone who is in pain (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

The Power of Prayer

In the morning I’ll be participating in the Bashful Ostrich 5K for the second time in two consecutive years. The run benefits survivors of sexual abuse. I think sexual abuse is such a prevalent sin. Our society is very sex-centered— it seems that sex is used to advertise almost all merchandise and all we ever hear on TV is sex.

I don’t know what really causes people to sexually abuse others, but I know what the Bible says about humans: “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).

I know there are many people who have suffered from this type of abuse. They are wounded souls who long to be free of the emotional pain that haunts them. I think it’s good that they talk to someone like a counselor, but I think the only way they can be truly free is to allow God to heal them.

I used to cry whenever I thought about the years of abuse I encountered as a child. I wanted so badly to be free of those memories. I prayed continually but it seemed like God didn’t hear me.

Then after about 30 years of emotional torment, I woke up one day and realized that God had released me from my miserable state. I no longer cried when I talked about the past—my memories were not daggers twisting in my heart anymore.

I remember when I encouraged a small group of women to build on their relationship with God. One woman tearfully asked how I could go on without feeling hurt from my past. All I could tell her was to keep praying and never lose hope that God will heal her.

James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray” (NASB). Luke 11:9-10 tells us, “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened” (NASB).

God answers prayers. Your prayer may not be answered tomorrow or next week, but if you are persistent in your prayer then He will answer. It took almost 30 years for my prayer to be answered, but I am so thankful that I did not give up—that I kept praying to God for relief. God is so good.

I think God didn’t answer my prayer right away because praying brought me closer to Him. The process of praying strengthened my faith in Him, and it was a reassurance to me that I truly believed in Him.

The nearly 30 years of praying and waiting changed me. It was like I was in a washing machine for that whole time. I wasn’t placed in the “quick cycle,” but the “extra clean cycle.”

Satan can no longer use the pain of my past to keep me down. I now pray for the people who sexually abused me. I am hoping that God will change them and that they will repent and ask Him for forgiveness.  God can do anything because “with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26). Thank you, God!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

I will cover my mouth with my hand

My husband and I read the Bible every morning, but since I had my tonsillectomy, he has been doing all the reading. Yesterday, he went to the grocery store without me (usually we go together).

Tomorrow is my youngest son’s birthday and even though we had planned several weeks ago to take him to breakfast, to a movie, then to a sushi place for lunch, I don’t think I will be able to go because I get tired very quickly now, plus I am still in pain.

I almost feel like I am standing still and everything else is moving around me. Life continues to happen. I can see how someone who is having health problems can become depressed—it would seem like the “natural” reaction.

For the past few days I have been thinking about my father-in-law. I can’t believe he endured so many years of pain and yet continued to smile.

This is a picture of him with his first great-grandchild, my granddaughter. He was lying on his home hospital bed when the picture was taken. He was bloated from the medications and he had discoloration around his lips, but the joy he had within radiated from his face.

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It’s been only a week of this misery for me and I am finding it very difficult to stay “positive,” even knowing that my health issue is only temporary and that I should be much better in another week.  I find myself whining, crying, and sulking and it’s been only seven days!

When I compare my seven days to the twenty years my father-in-law suffered, all I can (and should) say is: “…I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say” (Job 40:4-5, NLT).

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Run to God!

My husband and I are reading through Job and we are at the part where Job’s friends are there to console him. After his first friend speaks, Job replies by describing his pain—“My body is covered with maggots and scabs. My skin breaks open, oozing with pus” (Job 7:5, NLT). Even though Job had lost everything and was now physically suffering, he never “curses” God.

People endure so many different things. My father-in-law suffered with a debilitating illness for 20 years yet it made him a stronger Christian. No matter how much pain he felt, he had a smile on his face. He could have easily turned away from God but instead he clung to Him even tighter.

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Then I thought about people who have other hardships and how they have stopped relying on God. Rather than asking God why they are suffering, they instead say in their hearts that there is no God.  These people are like seeds that have been planted on shallow soil or around thorn bushes—they spout but then die off quickly (Matthew 13:5-7, NLT).

I think God uses hardships to shape us. It is a test of our endurance—will we keep relying on Him even though it seems like He is doing nothing to help us? First Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, “Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). Are you suffering physically, mentally, or emotionally? Then run to God, cling to Him, and never let Him go!

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti