A friend of mine named Brian, a gospel worker in Cambodia, recently endured terrible physical suffering. In God’s kindness his life has been preserved, and his endurance in suffering stands as an example for the rest of us.
Here is a prayer he posted Saturday. Keep this handy for when you face “various trials” that test “the genuineness of your faith” (1Pet 1.3–9).
When I look at the heavens, the works of your fingers, your gorgeous mountain landscapes, the starry hosts, your microscopic armies who, in a few short days, can bring a healthy mid-thirties man groveling to his knees like a baby with failing kidneys, a failing liver, pneumonia, a slew of blood functions falling well below safe levels, excruciating join and head pain, and fevers racking my body with shivers, I say with the Psalmist “what is man that you mindful of him” and in my sickness I meant it like Job did too.
But you are not a God far away. You created me to have fellowship with me. And more, knowing me before I knew you, you predestined me to be changed into the character, and beauty, and glory of your deepest joy, Jesus, so that our fellowship would be even deeper and Jesus would receive his prize. That’s why I know that when you bring painful, unsettling disease or heartbreak or death or deep dark pain of whatever kind, it is not a sign of me getting separated from your eternal love. It’s you working all things for the good of those who love you, who are called by your purpose.
So, Father, the sufferings of right now are not worth comparing to the glory you are bringing. If, then, pain and sorrow is not an accident, a twist of fate, a demon act you couldn’t counter, but rather your loving hand working out immeasurable glory, I’ll go through your trials again and again and again until I die.
Thank you, God, and thank you for bringing me though this trial. May my character accept permanent change from it. Please bless the awesome friends and family who prayed and sometimes literally bore me up in this trial. Especially thank you for that gorgeous super-nurse of a wife you gave me too. I don’t come close to deserving any of these blessings.
In Jesus’ name I ask.