Posts Tagged ‘suffer’

We can all sometimes feel like everything is going wrong for us, and wonder why God allows us to suffer to must pain and heartache. I am no different, I too feel like that sometimes.

I am however very aware that my suffering is miniscule is comparison to what many others in this world have to deal with on a daily basis. That of course doesn’t make our suffering any less painful, or any less real, it simply puts our suffering into perspective.

To relieve our suffering, we have to turn to God and open our hearts to Him in prayer, open our hands to Him in service, open our ears to the Holy Spirit, and open doors to all who need comfort.

Are you opening doors?

Following on from yesterday’s post about whether people change or not, here’s a great quote from Joyce Meyer:

You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are

It’s true some of us find change more difficult than other, some find the thought of change stressful while others enjoy the challenge change can bring. However when we truly look at ourselves and see all the things which are not Christ-like, we should see we have no option but to change, regardless of how painful or frightening that thought may be to us. God wants us to live our lives like Christ, so it’s our responsibility to change our life, with God’s help, so that we are more like Christ.

Are you ready to change to be more like Christ?

kneel-cross

 

At the cross I bow my knees
Where Your blood was shed for me
There’s no greater love than this

 

At Easter we remember how much God sacrificed when Jesus died on a cross at Calvary, but we also celebrate the fact that God loved as so much that he was willing to sacrifice his only son.

John 15:13 (NIV): Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

There is no greater love than the love God showed us that day when Jesus suffered the agony of dying on a cross at Calvary.

Here is Hillsong singing At the Cross:

As some of you will know, a few days ago it was my birthday. Birthdays are normally a time of great celebration, even if we’re not very happy bout the age we are now celebrating. However this birthday for me was tinged with sadness, as it was the first birthday I’d celebrated without my Dad.

Dad in hospitalYes, my last birthday with Dad was spent visiting him in hospital, and while I remember he never spoke to us at all during our visit that day (in fact he hid under the covers the whole time), it was still special to me as our family was all together on my birthday.

Yes, hubby keeps trying to remind me that even last year at my birthday, it wasn’t really my Dad anymore, and therefore rather than have him here as a shell of himself unable to recognise or communicate with us anymore, it really is better for him that he passed away peacefully earlier this year. That of course is reasonably easy to say (or type in this case!), but so difficult to truly accept, as I really miss my Dad.

These last few days I’ve shed a whole load of tears for Dad as I miss him so much, not the person he was latterly in these last few years, but the person who brought me up, taught me and inspired me. I know I should be thankful for him that his suffering is over but, I’m only human, and therefore I continue to miss my Dad.

One of the saddest things I ever heard was the very first time, probably just over a year ago, when my Dad asked me who I was.

For those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that my Dad suffers from vascular dementia, and has over the space of the last couple of years got progressively worse.

It was heart wrenching the first few times when Dad asked who I was, and although it’s still very sad when he asks either me or Mum who I am, I am getting used to it as I know it’s simply part of this rotten disease that he’s suffering from and nothing else.

Well today is my Dad’s 85th birthday, a day where we should be rejoicing in the fact that he’s still with us. Unfortunately though it’s not such a happy occasion as Dad doesn’t remember it’s his birthday let alone what age he is. Despite Dad not knowing it’s his birthday, we did still get him a card and a present, as although he doesn’t know it’s his birthday, we do!  The sad thing is Dad didn’t understand why we were giving him anything or even what he was supposed to do with the card and present, so Mum ended up having to help him open both.

Dementia is a horrible illness, it’s indiscriminate in who it affects, but it’s affects are life changing not only for the sufferer but their family as well.

I pray that all affected directly by dementia receive the love and support they required to cope with this debilitating illness.

In Wednesday’s paper, the Herald, there was a very poignant article by Sally Magnusson entitled Magnusson’s torment at mother’s dementia battle. It really hit home for both Mum and me, and I’m sure many other’s who have family members or friends, who are suffering from dementia.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog for a while, my Dad was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago, and over the last couple of years his condition has deteriorated very rapid. My Dad is still living at home with my Mum, with my Mum caring for him 24/7.

As Sally Magnusson says in her article in the Herald this week

Caring for my mother at home, even only part-time in my case with the help of my sisters and latterly a team of wonderful carers, has been psychologically gruelling and physically draining,” she said.

“How much worse for those who are caring alone and cannot afford extra help.”

when you’re caring for someone with dementia, it’s not something which just takes up a small part of your time, it is a 24/7 job, one which is not just physically exhausting, but also emotionally draining.

Please don’t think dementia is just about forgetting a few things, it’s not, it’s a horrendous disease which sucks out the person you know from their body and leaves an empty, helpless shell. It’s a disease which not only affects the person with the disease but also those who care for them, as there’s no remission for them from looking after the sufferer.

The person I know my Dad to be isn’t here anymore, yes, when I look at him I see my Dad, but that’s about the only part of him which is still recognisable as Dad:

  • He is no longer able to dress himself – Mum has to help him do that
  • He no longer knows or understands how to wash himself – Mum does that 6 days a week with a carer coming in to give Dad a bath once a week
  • He doesn’t recognise family members…including me which was very upsetting when it first happened. Although I’m now used to him not knowing me, it still is very upsetting
  • He doesn’t recognise or know people he’s known for years, such as neighbours and friends
  • When outside the house, he doesn’t know where he is
  • He sleeps most of the time

One of the saddest things watching Dad’s condition worsen, was when he went through a stage of bursting out crying for no apparent reason, other than just simply frustration at what was happening to him. I know how upsetting it was for Mum and me to see, but imagine how my Dad must have felt!

I do my best to support my Mum as she cares for Dad 24/7, however I never feel as though I’m able to do enough because I can see how difficult it is for Mum. On the plus side, Dad’s been into a local care hom,e a couple of time in the last 4/5 months for a week’s respite care, which has allowed Mum to get a bit of a break and a rest. In the last few weeks Mum’s talked about how she’s not sure how much longer she will be able to look after Dad at home.

It’s sad it’s come to this for Dad, but for the sake of my Mum, and her health, I was pleased when Mum told me she had asked her social worker to put Dad’s name down on the waiting list for the local care home. It’s upsetting to think of Dad not being at home, but ultimately he doesn’t really know where he is or who he’s with anymore, so as long as he’s comfortable and being looked after well, that is all I can ask.

If you are a praying person, can I ask you to pray for all those suffering from dementia and also for those caring for them. Thank you.

Firstly let me ask you a couple of questions:

  • What is Dementia?
  • What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Well in the last few months, for various reasons, I’ve found myself do a we bit of research into what dementia is and how that differs from Alzheimer’s.

Here’s one definition of Dementia that I found:

Dementia may be caused by a number of illnesses that affect the brain. Dementia typically leads to memory loss, inability to do everyday things, difficulty in communication, confusion, frustration, as well as personality and behaviour changes. People with dementia may also develop behavioural and psychological symptoms such as depression, aggression and wandering. (from http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/Dementia.html)

Personally I always thought that Dementia was a less severe form of Alzheimer’s, however I’ve now learned that I have in fact got this completely wrong, because Alzheimer’s is in fact on type of dementia!

There are in fact many different types of Dementia, including ((from http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/html/Dementia.html)):

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease changes the brain’s structure, which leads to the death of nerve cells. This disrupts the brain’s usual activity. People with Alzheimer’s disease also have a shortage of chemicals involved with the transmission of messages within the brain.
  • Vascular dementia is another common form of dementia and is triggered by blockages to the blood vessels (vascular system) in the brain. Not enough blood and oxygen reach the nerve cells so they die. Areas of brain tissue that have died in this way are called infarcts, so vascular dementia is also called multi-infarct dementia. It may be easier to think of vascular dementia as a series of strokes that result from other health problems such as high blood pressure.
  • Mixed dementia is when you have more than one type of dementia at the same time. A common combination is Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a type of dementia caused by Lewy bodies, which are made from an abnormal build-up of a particular protein in the brain.
  • Dementia can also occur in the final stages of other conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, AIDS and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.

Dementia of any form can be difficult to deal with both by the sufferer as well as their friends and family. It can be frustrating and frightening time as the sufferer starts to have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning
  • memory loss
  • depression
  • changes in personality and mood
  • periods of mental confusion
  • wandering during the night
  • aggression
  • low attention span
  • believing in things that are not true
  • slower movement,
  • shaking and trembling of arms and legs
  • shuffling while walking,
  • problems sleeping
  • visual hallucinations
  • compulsive behaviour,
  • personality changes. e.g. A person who was previously withdrawn may become very outgoing, or vice versa.
  • speaking far less than usual, or not speaking at all,
  • having problems finding the right words to express themselves

If you or a member of your family suffer from any form of dementia, or you think they may be in the early stages of dementia, I’d encourage you to seek medical advice. The sooner you seek medical advice and get a firm diagnosis, the sooner you and your friends/family can start to get some help and advice.

Jesus was hung on a cross to die so that you and I could be free, could be forgiven of every sin we ever commit. After he was crucified, how do you think his family and friends felt?

Anyone who has every lost someone close to them, a family member or friend, will know how they must have been feeling – devastated, inconsolable, upset…to mention just a few of the emotions we feel. The same must have been felt by Jesus’ family and friends in the aftermath of his death at Calvary. But for them the thought that Jesus could have saved himself if he had wanted to, simple because he was the Son of God. but that wasn’t what Jesus wanted! Jesus’ priority was to save the people of this world, both those of His time and those of future times, and He could only do that by dying on the cross.

Jesus paid the ultimate price for His beliefs and for His Father. I can’t imagine how Jesus family and friends must have felt, let alone how God, his father, must have felt. I’m sure between them all, many tears were shed all those years ago when Jesus died.

Nothing changes though does it? Thousands of years on, this Easter I’ve shed a lot of tears while thinking and praying about Jesus death and what that means for me today, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s shed some tears.

Have a listen and watch this video which includes clips from the film “The Passion of The Christ” – I shed a few tears watching this, so open your heart and feel the agony and pain Jesus felt all those years ago.

Via Dolorosa Lyrics

Down the Vía Dolorosa in Jerusalem that day
The soldiers tried to clear the narrow street
But the crowd pressed in to see
The Man condemned to die on Calvary
 
He was bleeding from a beating, there were stripes upon His back
And He wore a crown of thorns upon His head
And He bore with every step
The scorn of those who cried out for His death
 
Down the Vía Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King,
But He chose to walk that road out of
His love for you and me.
Down the Via Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary.
 
Por la Vía Dolorosa, triste día en Jerusalém
Los soldados le abrían paso a Jesús.
Más la gente se acercaba,
Para ver al que llevaba aquella cruz.
 
Por la Vía Dolorosa, que es la via del dolor
Como oveja vino Cristo, Rey y Señor,
Y fue Él quien quiso ir por su amor por ti y por mí.
Por la Vía Dolorosa al Calvario y a morir.
 
The blood that would cleanse the souls of all men
Made it’s way through the heart of Jerusalem.
 
Down the Vía Dolorosa called the way of suffering
Like a lamb came the Messiah, Christ the King
But He chose to walk that road out of His love for you and me
Down the Vía Dolorosa, all the way to Calvary.

The Reason

Posted: January 21, 2010 in religion
Tags: , , , , , ,

Question: Have you ever wondered why Jesus came to earth?
Answer: For us

Question: Do you wonder why Jesus died on the cross?
Answer: For love

Question: Who has given us the best reason to live?
Answer: Jesus Christ

Question: Have you found a reason to live?
If not, remind yourself today that Jesus gave His life just for you.

We Are the Reason He Suffered and Died!

We Are The Reason by Avalon
As little children we would dream of Christmas morn
Of all the gifts and toys we knew we’d find
But we never realized a baby born one blessed night
Gave us the greatest gift of our lives

We were the reason that He gave His life
We were the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live

As the years went by we learned more about gifts
The giving of ourselves and what that means
On a dark and cloudy day a man hung crying in the rain
All because of love
All because of love

We were the reason that He gave His life
We were the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live

I finally found the reason for living
It’s in giving every part of my heart to Him (every part to Him)
And all that I do every word that I say (you know I’ll be saying)
I’ll be giving my all just for Him, for Him (every thing for Him)

We are the reason that He gave His life
We are the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give (all that he could give all)
To show us the reason to live

He is the reason to live
(don’t you know do you know the reason
that he came, oh he came to save us
when he gave his life for us) he suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave everything (everything that He had He gave)
To show us the reason to live

The darkness that surrounds grief or depression can be so deep that it seems no light will ever penetrate it, and that no end is in sight.

Depression is not something that has only just been recognised, it existed in the times when the bible was written. Job was one of those who suffered deep depression and pain:

Job 3:20-23 (NIV)
“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave? Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?.”

There was a point to Job’s suffering, he learned various lessons during his depression which he couldn’t have learned any other way. He learned lessons which are still relevant to each of us today:

  • We have an intercessor in heaven who counts our tears and can lift us out of depression
  • We have a living Redeemer who will stand on earth at last
  • God is the the power behind all nature and the one who cares for all He has made

Job came out of his dark time with a new insight:
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5 (NIV)

When we’re in our darkest times, that’s often when we see God in a way we would never have seen when life is running smoothly for us. What we find out about God during our darkest times is what can make those painful and depressing times worthwhile – maybe not right at that time, but certainly later when we truly appreciate what God has done for us.

God’s presence is as important to us as God’s protection, and God’s presence is all we need.

Checkout Jeremy Camp’s website: http://www.jeremycamp.com/