Suffering, yet not Ashamed

Today's Verse of the Day seems so appropriate for recent events. The passage reads:
I am suffering ... Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (2 Timothy 1:12/NIV)
Yesterday, our dear friend Ann Glotzbach passed away.. you can read about her here. Her passing is painful yet bittersweet because of her prolonged suffering and pain these past years. Here is what the Verse of the Day website had to say about Paul:
As Paul faced very difficult circumstances near the end of his life, many of those he had led to the Lord abandoned him. But he was confident that the Lord would not abandon him! He had committed his life to Jesus as Lord. That Lord would ensure that the investment Paul had made would not be wasted. His life, his future, and his eternal destiny were entrusted to the Lord. He was confident that they were also secure in the Lord. He believed with every fiber of his being that on a special day known only to God, Jesus will return and every knee will bow and Paul's faith in the Lord will be joyously validated.
A few points from it that I would like to highlight:
  • It is hard on everyone when painful situations come.. sometimes people just don't know what to do.. sometimes they do nothing.. don't be too hard on these folks.. they do care.
  • God uses the pain in our lives to develop compassion for others. It is nothing short of amazing how God turned ruthless Saul into loving Paul.
  • Our hope cannot be found in temporal blessings. Our ultimate hope is in the Blessed Hope.. the Lord Jesus.. in the end we will see Him and many whom we have loved.
On a very personal note I have to say that this has been an extremely difficult summer and fall for my wife Ann and me. After two hospital stays of 3 and 5 weeks we are left with life in a wheelchair.. we have both been very sad.. the temptation to lose hope is immense.. it is in our face every moment of the day.. yet we persevere knowing Whom we have believed.. knowing that those bullet points above are true for Paul, for the Glotzbach family and for us. I close with the prayer offered at the Verse of the Day site:

Almighty God, I believe, but please strengthen my faith so that no matter what I may endure, my confidence in you will remain firm and my hope may remain vibrant. I entrust to you all that I am and all that I hope to be, believing fully that you will bring me through whatever lies ahead and bring me into your glorious presence with great joy. In Jesus' glorious name I pray. Amen.


  1. My heart goes out to both of you. How disheartening yet you are so strong in your faith. I know the ups and downs you'll have, but I also know you're up to the task.
    Still praying, though, for the miracle.

  2. KB, you are a fountain of encouragement... I see these notes you leave all over the country and you are making a difference in so many lives. Blessings to you.

  3. He does give us suffering to help us develop compassion for others, but that's only the beginning!

    He lets us share in His very own suffering - we find like St. Paul in our sufferings what is lacking in Jesus' own sufferings for the building up of His Body, the Church! Obviously, Jesus lacked and lacks nothing. Rather, it is an invitation to take up our own crosses and follow Him.

    As temporally just plain lousy as it is to be looking at a wheelchair, and hospital stays, and worries about the future, our sufferings can be redemptive, purifying and lifting us up above our own bodies and helping see how our physical and emotional and mental losses are our path towards Heavenly glory, not our end.

    I pray for your perseverance through your fear and pain by faith through His Grace. And I wish we were actual neighbors - I'd bring you dinner, too.

  4. Thanks for the sweet response TZ.. we'd enjoy having dinner with you!


    "our sufferings can be redemptive"

    ..sounds like a good theme for a blog. :)

  5. Greetings Bob and Ann,
    My first time on a blog. I just got the news about Ann as we were not at the service on Sunday. Also having just returning to MCF, I was anaware of Ann's struggle. I remember her though in years past in many prayer lines, gentle chats etc... As you know Nancy and I miss you guys. We are neigbors and would love to get together with you for a meal. Just e-mail me back and let us know when a good time is for both of you and whqat you want for dinner :). Nancy is well. As you know I have suffered a long time with my heart problem so I am no stranger to immense pain and the struggle thatt goes with it. I too get discouraged. However I wanted to share something with you that an old friend shared with me about 12 yeras ago. I have NEVER forgotten it. I was deeply involved in the Revival and he was against it, even hostile though we had been friends a long time. I was under some immense persecution and my first born son had just died from complications with Cystic Fibrosis. He had just turned sixteen. In spite of his differences he called me up and said to me "Steve, I don't know about this revival stuff as I just don't understand it - however i DO KNOW that when one part of the Body hurts, the Whole Body hurts. I want you to know that I share in your hurt."
    He was responding to the pain of the loss of my son.
    You are right when you say many pweople just don't know what to do or say.
    I paass this on to you however and hope it encourages both you and Ann. We hardly know you but we miss Home group, and let us know if there is anything we can do to help.
    Also thanks for taking the time to pass on and share the information about Ann Glotsboch...
    May the Lord comfort you guys today.
    Our love
    Steve and Nancy H.

  6. Bob, you inspire us with your devotion to the Lord in the midst of suffering. Thank you for being a courageous light in our world.
    We love you and continue to pray for miracles.

  7. KB, what an encourager you are. And how this old sinful world needs to be encouraged by those who have faith in the One who loves and gave Himself for all of us. Your posts are an inspiration. Thank you for standing strong in Him.
    Blessings from the mission field of Costa Rica

  8. Hey Bob,

    Getting caught up on your blog. Thanks for your transparent and real thoughts.

    I pray for you and Ann nearly every day. (Actually nearly every night.)

  9. Thanks Keith, crownring, Kathie, Ptchouli.. and so many others.

    It humbles me and blesses me to know that so many are praying for us.. knowing that people pray is so comforting.

    Many blessings, Bob


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