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September 22, 2013

Army medical personnel treating a victim of the 2010 Salang avalanches in Afghanistan, Photo by Spc. Brandon Evans, Source (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

In April 2011, a team of British military veterans conquered the North Pole.  Amazingly, all were war wounded (two of the team, actually amputees).  As members of the group “Walking with the Wounded”, the men were out to demonstrate that nothing is impossible. They did exactly that.

We should celebrate the victory of these veterans, not to mention their sacrifice.

But men and women can be wounded in many ways.  Millions suffer from chronic illnesses; have been to countless emergency rooms and lain prostrate on kitchen floors, unable to call for help. Mental and emotional difficulties can be as real (and debilitating) as physical.

The trauma, the illness or injury, may feel overwhelming – so draining we find ourselves wishing, at times, it had been fatal.

Men like those who reached the North Pole are giants for the rest of us to admire and emulate.  From the vantage point of their achievement, the suffering can take courage that another day is possible.  We stand on their shoulders.

For many, there will be no cure. Existence has changed forever.  The valley will be lifelong. Where is the Lord in all this? Ours is the suffering Lord. He is with us in our pain.  He is with us in our grief. He is with us in our despair. We may not always feel His presence, but He is with us all the same.

And somehow He sustains us.

He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Is. 53: 3).

Lord Jesus, our world is in turmoil. We read of terrorist attacks and murder, children killed by chemical weapons, arson, and drive-bys.  Grief and fear are all around us.

You are our hope, Lord. You are our security.

Give us a heart for those suffering, and help us endure our own trials, whatever form they may take.  We ask this in Your holy Name.



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