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    3rd July 2007

    Frustration (part two)…

    I know it’s a little soon for a sequel, but I think most of you who have already read part 1 (which will be 5 or 6 of you out there) will be thankful for it. And if you haven’t read Frustration… below, and you desire to understand this post – well, scroll down or click the link, its only 1700 words or so. Or, if you wish to skip my frustration because it could cause feelings of angst in you yourself (if I wrote the way I intended it very well could) and skip straight to the upshot, here it is:

    Even in seasons of frustration there is joy. Not every moment of this summer has been frustrating – there have just been some frustrating aspects to it. If you read the lyrics that I posted a week or so ago you can feel another moment from the last 6 weeks of summer: The feeling of infinite potential. Perhaps that’s part of why a season like this can be so frustrating for me; I expect life to be so good and the hiccups can be annoying.

    But by far the lion’s share of the reason I have written about these frustrations publicly like this is to solicit the prayers of those of you who are praying people – both for my physical issues, like my bladder, and as I try to figure out the direction my life ought to be heading right now.

    It’s funny, whenever I go to a church or Christian group that I haven’t been to before people want to pray for me; at times this can be wearying, but I’m never one to turn away prayer and I often comment that I must be one of the most prayed for people in the world… And here I am requesting more. Let me share with you a few paragraphs from the New Testament that have encouraged me in situations where people are praying for me:

    At the beginning of 2 Corinthians Paul wrote a word of encouragement for the very likely discouraged and frustrated Corinthians:

    Blessed be our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we maybe able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Cor. 1:3-7)

    Both Paul and the Corinthians have experienced frustration and suffering and they have both also received comfort from God. Now just as Paul is encouraging the Corinthians he is also showing them that they can become a source of encouragment to others. Next he shows them another positive outcome of suffering as a Christian:

    For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ouselves buy on God who raises the dead. (2 Cor. 1:8-9)

    Paul and Timothy’s affliction forced them to rely on God – reminded them who the prime mover of creation was, the ultimate decision maker. This despair and dependance allowed them to see the true situation when things improved – and built up their faith in God’s deliverance:

    He delivered us from such a deadly peril and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. (2 Cor. 1:10-11)

    Paul and Timothy recognized that God was and is the prime mover, the ultimate decision maker in their situations and encouraged the Corinthians to do the same. But did you catch the last sentence there?

    You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

    Paul asked the Corinthians to pray so that many would give thanks for the blessings granted!

    Perhaps this is a grace given to me: To see many rejoice at the work of God in my own life and continued healing, which really has been nothing short of miraculous. I saw my doctor this week to get some prescriptions filled, and he was amazed that my sensory levels and motor abilities have continued to improve this long after initial injury. Dr. Schmitt is a Christian and so he realizes the possibility of the impossible – but he was still blown away.

    Many have been praying, and many are rejoicing and blessing God on account of the miracles in my life – why shouldn’t there be more people praying and thus more people blessing God for what he does. This is true of many situations and not just my own (if you want to get involved with an online prayer ministry, check out www.prayway.com) – but I guess I’m a little partial to my own causes.

    So if you pray for me this week, pray for direction; pray for healing; but also pray that these frustrations will also be turned into comfort and encouragment for others who are frustrated, and into opportunities to speak the name of Jesus to people who are longing to hear it.

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.