Far Outweighs

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18

I first met Minnie in September of 1997. She was a resident at what used to be called a “nursing home” but today they are known better as “extended care facilities.”

Minnie had lived in that home for over fifteen years when I first met her.

During the day she was confined to a wheel chair. She had multiple sclerosis, initially diagnosed in her late 50’s.

I visited Minnie regularly, sat with her, read scripture to her, and gave her the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Minnie was always cheerful and talkative. She made every effort to be prim and proper in her dress and comportment.

But as I soon discovered, Minnie was constantly in moderate to severe chronic pain due to her MS.

She lived this way for another seven years! Always happy to see me, always talkative, and always prim and proper. She also made it a point to both pray for her fellow residents and share the story of Jesus with them (and me).

Even though she was in constant pain, she loved God and loved her neighbors and told anyone who would listen how much God loved her in Jesus Christ.

This was her story to tell.

She was the living embodiment of Paul’s words in Romans 8, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

No matter how much pain Minnie was in, she knew it didn’t compare to the glory that was awaiting her in heaven!

When Jesus finally called Minnie home, this is exactly what I said at her funeral service. We gathered together with her blood-family and her church family and gave praise and thanksgiving to God for saving Minnie and giving her eternal life.

In a glory that far outweighed her painful life here on earth.

This is true for all of us who believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

Still, it is hard for us to believe this sometimes.

Even Martin Luther – the great reformer – would write:

“…Because heaven is not apparent it becomes very difficult for my old Adam [sinful human nature] to believe that on the Last Day God will give me such a beautiful body, joyful heart, and pure soul, endowed with understanding of every kind and full of love and delight and that I am to become a greater lord than any king now on earth” (from Luther’s sermon of 1525 on Romans 8:18-23, quoted from What Luther Says – A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian © 1959 Concordia Publishing House, p 623).

Maybe this is one of the reasons Minnie was here and came into my life. To show me the truthfulness of Romans 8 that how no matter how bad this life is, heaven will be that much greater.

Minnie believed that.

By the grace of God, so will I.

Heavenly Father, you teach me in your holy Word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve your children. Look with compassion on all those who experience pain. Remember all of us in mercy, strengthen us in patience, comfort us with the memory of your goodness, and let your face shine on us that we may be guarded by your peace in Christ Jesus. Amen.

©2017 True Men Ministries


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