I am getting ready for our 4PM Mass for the Creation Festival which is being held at the Enumclaw Expo Center (former King County Fair).
Last night I got to hear the testimony of Nick Vujicic. He was born with a rare disorder which made him not develop arms and legs. I saw him a couple of years ago on a Christian television program and was greatly moved by his testimony. He gave a powerful talk last night and challenged people to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to not have any arms and legs and to live and function in society? He said that the Lord Jesus Christ rescued him from bitterness and that he has had the privilege to talk in front of millions of people including kings and dignitaries all over the world. He especially enjoys being invited into schools and helping young people. His life really changed as he began to understand that God could use his disability to reach others for Christ. I really believe this act of grace is what led St. Paul to say that he was content in his weakness. (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:6-10) The realization that God can use our challenges for a greater good opens the gateway to experience suffering and challenges in a whole new light. This too was stated so eloquently by St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking* in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church,of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in ChristFor this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.
Knowing that the power of God is most especially at work during difficult times and living by this in faith can inspire countless numbers of men and women. The devil wants us to believe that God has abandoned us when times get tough. Whenever I bless a crucifix I always say and try to remember, “This crucifix is a sign that God relates to us most especially in our suffering.” In Christ God has united himself with us in our suffering and transformed it into what we call “redemptive suffering.” For some powerful insights on Redemptive Suffering, I highly recommend Pope John Paul II’s “On The Meaning of Christian Suffering.” That document has helped me a lot.
I see the time is ticking away so I had better draw this entry to a close.
Have a blessed day!