Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

Not that long ago, Pastor Meyer went through the foot pain of planters facetious.  I was right there alongside a bunch of other people giving him a hard time about getting old and falling apart.  Well … the tables have now turned.  I’m not exactly sure how I did it, but over the last few months I have been experiencing this sharp pain in my right elbow.  It has prevented me from doing some things I like to do, to the ability which I normally would do them.  The long and the short of it, I have developed something called lateral epicondylitis … aka, tennis elbow or tendonitis in my elbow.  Now I get to wear this sexy little brace on elbow for at least the whole month of June … maybe you happened to see it.

Having to wear this brace and suffer through the pain reminds me of a story my vicarage supervisor told me during my vicarage.  He told me of a lady in one the previous congregations he served who was in her mid to upper 90’s.  It was very evident to him and all who saw her that with each and every step she took she was in extreme pain.  However, no matter how much pain she was in … she never complained about it.  He said that one day he asked her how was it that even though she was definitely suffering and was in pain that she never complained?  Her response?  Her response is something which he nor I will ever forget.  This frail elderly lady said, “When I think about what it is that my Savior went through to save me, this is nothing.”

WOW!!!!  A statement like that puts a whole new perspective on the way we handle and endure the pain we experience.  It gives me a whole new outlook on my crazy elbow pain.  But what a great perspective on the absolutely amazing thing our Savior went through to forgive you and me of our sins and give us eternal life.

In his first letter Peter says, “He himself {Jesus} bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).  What it was that Jesus went through from the anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane all the way through the multiple beatings, floggings, having to carry his own cross on his disfigured back, and then dying one of the most hideous and torturous methods of death … gives me a whole new perspective on my measly elbow pain.

When we think about all the things we go through in our lives, one of the first things I think we can and should be doing is giving thanks to God.  Giving thanks to God for the blessings He so freely gives.  Giving thanks to God for the undeserving love He has for us shown through all that Jesus went through to obtain the forgiveness of our sins and our hope of eternal life.  It may sound strange, but in the midst of our ailment, no matter how minor or severe it is, we can give thanks to God that it is nothing compared to that which Jesus suffered in my place.

When thinking like this, when looking at my lovely little elbow brace … I have new perspective on what Jesus went through for me and I’m extremely thankful.  I pray that you are able to do the same as you experience the different ailments of your life.  In the midst of our ailments, also know that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).  Compared to the wonderful gift of living in the perfection of heaven with glorified and perfectly restored bodies, this is nothing.  We got this, because we have Jesus!

God’s Blessings,

Pastor Mike