Learn Through Experience

By BRO. TERRY IVY,

"Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction." (Pro. 24:32) Experience is a good teacher, a little harsh at times, but a good teacher nonetheless. Going through Cancer creates a shift in our perception and understanding of the world. Just as time is marked with B.C. and A.D., so the lives of those who have been stricken with this disease is marked. We have our 'before cancer' (B.C.) and our 'after diagnosis' (A.D.) As cancer survivors look to the Lord, life pivots and takes a glorious turn toward love with the marvelous light of God's mercy.

Regardless of the suffering or trials we go through, we must be careful not to waste our sorrows with self-pity. Suffering is part fo the plight of this life, and no one is immune from it. Yes, we should cast our supplications and appeals to the Lord in prayer, but sometimes His answer is for us to walk through ‘a valley of affliction.’ It forces us, in a good way, to grow up.

The Lord will allow hard times into our life to teach us that He is our provision. He died so that we could find rest for our souls as we repent and cast ourselves into His mercy. Let us run to the arms of the One who suffers with us and find the sufficiency of His love and grace. The day is coming when we will stand before our Lord, and we may have questions about our path in life in regards to trials. And when we see His glory, I believe our first response will not be, "Lord, why did this happen, etc." I think it will be "Oh...NOW I see and understand!”

One of the highest callings we have as believers is to be kind and compassionate when others find themselves in a hard trial. Today it is them, tomorrow it will be us. Affliction seems to be like buzzards—flying around in circles before they land on their prey. Many times, through prayer and spiritual awareness, we can sense the approaching of trials in our own life. However, we must be careful not to allow suspicion or worry to drive us into a cave of fear.

A common experience in the trials of life is how it seems the Lord is silent. We pray, we read, we seek guidance, and yet, heaven seems quiet and distance. Doesn’t He care? Why am I left feeling so alone and abandoned? The teacher is always quiet during testing time. The Lord allows these times to force us to re-evaluate our priorities and to learn to press into His heart by faith.

Having Christian friends who will allow us to share honestly about our struggles is of great value. They suspend judgment, listen to our broken hearts, and tenderly encourage and point us to the Scriptures. We don’t have to waste our sorrows by sloshing around in the mud of unbelief, embarrassment, or anger. We can run to the One who suffered beyond words in order to give us peace through our trials. Jesus alone can protect us from wasting our sorrows. He will help us to… Learn Through Experience!