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un(flinching): staying strong and determined even when things are difficult

Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.     (2 Corintians 4:10 NLT)

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“Lord, help us to see in your Crucifixion and Resurrection an example of how to endure and seemingly die in the agony and conflict of daily life, so that we may live more fully and creatively.” (Mother Teresa)

I wish I could say that my life is marked by unflinching faith and unshaken devotion to God’s will. But then I would be telling an untruth. It is my goal to stay strong and determined during difficult times, but honest reflection shows me that my heart is often unyielding. I just want to push through the hard stuff to alleviate my pain.

This weekend, we celebrated my father-in-law’s life. He was a steady man. And a faithful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He modeled love and servant-hood to his four sons, and they in turn love and serve their families and others with the same unflinching compassion of their father.

I want to be more like each of them, because frankly each one of them is a lot like the Good Shepherd that led their father. They embrace the suffering of daily life with pragmatism and creativity. And I appreciate this about the Rohlf clan.

My husband and I took a walk on Saturday to enjoy the spring like weather, to pause before an evening of being with family, reminiscing and preparing for the memorial service on Sunday. His foot slipped and the next thing we knew he was on his back. He lie there unflinching, checking his own elbow; stabilizing it on his own. In the meantime, I frantically left him with a kind stranger, so I could get our car to transport him to urgent care.

He has been enduring the pain with much decorum and some pain medicine, but he is the epitome of this “un” word. Oh, he gets frustrated and says bad words, just like me, but overall, he steadily trusts God.

And he helps me to look for the calm in the midst of life’s storms. Jesus shines through the dark clouds of our difficulty as the ray of  my husband’s familiar smile greets me, as we moved from appointment to appointment today to prepare for elbow repair surgery. Through Les’ suffering, Jesus’ life radiates through him. I am grateful to be a recipient of this unflinching love.

 

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