Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: Hard Things Happen
By Darlene Casino
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My first crisis as a new Christian began on a Friday night when my 6 -year -old son
asked to spend the night at his friend’s house. I knew the occasion would call for lots of
junk food and late hours, but it was only across the street and I was friends with the mother.
I agreed. It was no surprise that he arrived home in the morning complaining of a stomach
ache. We were committed to taking our church youth group biking that day at a nearby
state forest. With my teenage sister visiting for the weekend, we felt comfortable in leaving
him in her care. Later that afternoon we found his discomfort was not intense, though he
had been a bit lethargic during the day. The next day was Easter, and a glorious one at that!
The temperatures would be in the ‘70’s’ by mid afternoon. Jim still felt out of sorts and a
little warm to the touch. We again left him with my sister while we went to church. By
the time we arrived home his status had changed; his temperature had shot up and he
was holding his side saying, “It really hurts”. At my husband’s direction I called the
E.R. and spoke with a nurse who said we should bring him there. Upon our arrival he was
immediately taken to an examining room. The doctor ordered some tests and we waited.
He still was unsure of a diagnosis and decided to call in a surgeon. It was then decided that
my son had some kind of a blockage and they needed to do an exploratory surgery. We
again sat waiting, and praying, In what seemed like an eternity, the surgeon returned.
“It’s very serious,” he reported. “His appendix had ruptured maybe several days prior
and his abdomen is full of peritonitis. If you had waited much longer he would be dead.
As it is, we need to get the infection under control and get his fever down. He is in critical
condition.” Jim spent the next four days in the critical care unit, hooked up to many tubes.
This mother’s heart broke for all the pain he was experiencing. As a young Christian, I
called out to God, “Why did you allow this thing to happen?”
Sitting with him those days, I turned to my bible and my God for comfort and hope.
My church held us up before the throne of God. Somehow peace and assurance began to
Fill my being. I remembered the teaching of my pastor in 1 Peter. He had said that as a
Christian we are preparing for a trial, experiencing one, or recovering from a trial.
He went on to say that it is God who decides the type and timing of each one. Through the
indwelling Spirit, and His enablement, we are strengthened from within to endure whatever
Pain and hardship come our way.
Through the years, I have experienced that strengthening with each hardship, pain and
Trial that comes my way. I have experienced for myself the truth that is found in the
amplified version of Philippians 4:13. It doesn’t happen overnight or without a few ‘hissy
Fits’ along the way! “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me.
(I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him
Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient
In Christ’s sufficiency).
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