Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering “stinks,” and it’s hard to understand why these things happen. Sadly, in our world we will see or go through pain, suffering, and hardships. I think this is why we have the Book of Job– we can see from Job’s example that no matter what happens in our life that we are to continue to praise God. Yes, it is hard to praise God when things feel like they are falling apart but when there is nothing or no one else, God is still there, and there is also the body of Christ.

The Bible tells us to “…pray for each other...” (James 5:16, NIV), and to “Carry each other’s burdens…” (Gal 6:2, NIV). As Christians, we are all the body of Christ, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it…” (1 Cor 12:26, NIV).

I think there are some people who are afraid that they will not know what to say to someone who is suffering, or maybe they are uncomfortable seeing someone’s pain and hardship. I have found that most of the time, people who are suffering just need a hug– no words, just a hug.

If you are experiencing hardships, pain, and/or suffering, then I hope that you have found someone to walk with you in your suffering; and if you have suffered in the past, then I hope that you will walk with someone who is in pain (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Run in the Race!

Last year my running had dwindled down because we bought a duplex then we had to fix it, and then clean and clear the other house so that we could downsize; on top of that I still had to work. I had to give up something so I cut down on my running. Every once in a while I ran a 10K, but mostly I ran a couple of miles or ran an occasional 5K.

This year, I decided to start running again. It was hard. I struggled to run a couple of miles. I felt like giving up and using the time to do other things, but I persevered. Today I ran 12 miles. It wasn’t a fast time, but my time didn’t really matter; what mattered was that I didn’t give up.

I think it’s the same way with our Christian walk. Sometimes things come up in our lives and we feel like we have to give up something so we give up church. Then we get used to staying in bed on Sunday mornings and doing other things with the time that used to be spent in going to church.

It’s hard to go back to church after being away for several months or several years, but we start by going to one worship service. Then the following week, we go to another worship service; and even though we might feel like staying at home, we have to get up and go to church.

Why go to church? We go to church because we need to be encouraged by other believers; we need to know that we are not alone in our struggles. Also, as a believer and follower of Christ, we are all a part of His body and a body cannot function if some part of it is missing—we all need each other (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

So if you have been away from the church for a while, then my encouragement to you is to start going. Let this Sunday be the first of many Sundays to come! Remember that our Christian life is like a race— it doesn’t matter how fast you run, all that matters is that you stay in the race and that you finish!

Copyright © 2016 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Spiritual Muscle

Yesterday, my husband and I ran a 5K. I did not do a lot of running ahead of time to prepare for it. The last few times that I ran, I really struggled so it is no surprise that I struggled on the day of the run.

My legs felt like they were made of lead— it were so difficult to lift them. I was out of breath—my lungs felt like they were burning. My arms were uncomfortably tight and sore.

I think I struggled because my body is still out of shape. I have no abdominal muscles and I still have extra weight that I am “lugging around.” I know that if I continue to work out, though, my weak muscles will get stronger.

I thought about 1 Corinthians 12:12, 22-26,

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ… some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care… So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad…” (NLT)

I used to wonder why going to church was so important, now I realize that those who are new in their faith (or “weak”) will grow stronger because they will be around Christians that have been “working out” their faith.  The stronger Christians will help the “weaker” Christians become strong—“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Prov 17:17, NIV).

I am hopeful that my ab muscles will become stronger as I continue to work out. My ab muscles can’t get strong on its own, it needs my other muscles to help strengthen it. In the same way, we need other Christians to strengthen us.

I hope you had an opportunity to be strengthened this Sunday; if not, then please find a place to work out your spiritual muscle starting next Sunday.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti