from TODAY COUNTS by Dr. Harold J. Sala
1 Peter 2:21, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”
Ed Landry doesn’t believe that we should ever waste trials or difficulties and that what we think is the worst of times can actually be the best of times. Ed was on a plane when he turned to the man next to him and asked, “How are you?” The man complained about the miserable cold he had. The man threw the question back to Ed and he replied, “I have leukemia. I could be dead in a few months.” The man stared at him. “You’re joking.” “No,” said Ed. “I really do have leukemia. So how is your cold?”
At fifty-five, Ed was diagnosed with acute Myelogenous Leukemia. During his seven months of treatment, folks in the hospital saw a sense of humor, an optimistic outlook and the realization that God is good. They wanted to know more about his faith and optimism in the face of adversity. Ed says that he’s learned four lessons during this time of difficulty.
Lesson 1: God handles problems better than we do. Ed takes his difficulties to the Lord, understanding that he’s God’s child and God knows best how to live with suffering.
Lesson 2: God wants our bodies fully surrendered to Him. Ed believes that his body is a temple indwelt by the Holy Spirit and therefore when we have given ourselves to Him, what happens is completely in God’s hands. “Yes, there has been pain,” but he quickly adds, “but the joy far overshadows the trial.”
Lesson 3: God gives special grace for special times. Ed freely admits that we can never experience or taste God’s sufficiency and grace apart from the trials we go through.
Lesson 4: We should never waste our trials. There is a greater purpose. Just trust Him. Someday we will understand.
Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:6-8