Example

Psalm 119 is a beast–it is 176 verses long and divided into 22 sections (one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet).   So I’m going to divide it up, and write about my observations from each section, and see how each can help me continue to walk the road less traveled.  Today, the “Yodh” section:

Psalm 119:73-80

Being the oldest sibling has its perks, but it also has its disadvantages.  You’re the one who is supposed to be an example to your younger siblings.  So you sit up straight, eat your veggies (I didn’t bend on that one), and behave while they get away with murder… well, that’s what it felt like at the time.

The author of Psalm 119 seems to relish being an example to other believers.  Look what he writes in Psalm 119:74 as he’s going through a crisis:

Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
   because I have hoped in your word.

All of us tend to react differently to stressful situations.  For those of us who are following Jesus, how we react shows the depth and maturity of our faith.  I’m not saying that there won’t be anger, sadness, and depression, but how we react to the situation and how we handle the phases of our suffering reveal to others the depth of our faith.  The question for us is this:  do we want others viewing us as an example of faith in times of suffering?

Immediately, two people come to mind who are examples in time of suffering.  My late grandma Violet was one.  In her 80’s, she cared for my granddaddy George over the final years of his life as a series of strokes robbed him of the vitality of his earlier years.  Yet, I don’t remember one complaint… just a steady faith.  She passed away earlier this year at the age of 102.

The other person is my mother-in-law.  She’s been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis for years.  She’s spent countless hours with her doctors, spent long periods in the hospital with surgeries and battling infections.  Just walking is now a big effort for her.  Yet, I’ve never heard her complain one time in the twelve years that I’ve known her.  I know she’s had a lot of bad days, but you never hear about it.  She is the example of what a true southern lady is and, more importantly, a shining example of faith in the midst of suffering.  She is definitely a person that Christ followers can see and rejoice, because she hopes in God’s word made clear in Christ.

Who is someone in your life that, in spite of their suffering, brings you joy because of their faith?

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About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
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2 Responses to Example

  1. Melissa says:

    For me, it’s my mother-in-law. My father-in-law has been on dialysis now for 15 years. She has been his caregiver since he became ill. She drives him to and from each dialysis appointment (3 days a week) plus a myriad of other doctor’s appointments. She doesn’t complain, ask for help, or even accept help most of the time. She has dedicated her life to making his life better. She is always quoting Romans 8:28 and always smiling and willing to help others. She rarely misses a church function and is always available to help others in need. She is wise and has spent lots of time studying the scriptures. She raised 5 children who are all faithful Christians. And she’s just an amazing woman.

  2. lsaufley says:

    You realize you are going to make my mother cry when she reads this. She is amazing, isn’t she? And the thing is–she doesn’t even realize how amazing she is!

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