Do you believe God keeps safe those who suffer? Read Psalm 9 for a Biblical answer. “The Lord also keeps safe those who suffer. He is a safe place in times of trouble.” God does see our suffering and never forsakes us, even though some people think our Lord looks the other way when we are down in the dumps and crying out for comfort from suffering. I pray for people who suffer, asking God to help them in His time and way. Often, we try to help only to interfere in ways that can alter the divine outcome. We try to shield, to explain why some suffer more than others, to overdo or to do nothing. Sometimes not knowing what to do is a sign that we should just pray, show our concern, be there if needed, and let God take care of things in His way and time. His timing is perfect; His peace is precious.
Peace comes through suffering when we follow what Philippians 4:4-7 teaches. “Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God as you ask Him for what you need. The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. This peace will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Praising the Lord with a smile when suffering and possessing peace in times of trouble are characteristics of saintly people. Mr. Chuck Troyon comes to mind when writing about one who rises up and recounts love in times of suffering.
Mr. Chuck and his wife, Carolyn, came to North Carolina from Washington State several years ago to live near loved ones. The Troyon’s love story unfolds in chapters that captivate and cause one to be drawn closer to Christ. Mr. Chuck spins yarns of life as an adopted child, in the armed forces, as a young man marrying his sweetheart, of becoming a family man, of working and enjoying sunset years adventures such as driving a school bus and volunteering for community causes, of dealing with health issues, and finally packing up belongings and memories and heading to Carolina blue skies. The joy of living close to the Father and family members fosters their faith and gives peace and protection. We are blessed to have the entire Tryon family living in Carolina and calling Clinton home.
My first encounter with Mr. Chuck was in 2009; he phoned Tim’s Gift to talk to the lady who writes for the newspaper. His kind words inspired me on a morning when the enemy lurked at every turn. You know those maddening mornings when nothing goes right, you wonder if what you do matters, and you’re pitiful self is about to plunge into a pit that can ruin your entire day and stick you like tar to torment. Mr. Chuck’s message made my day and anchored my anger at the devil instead of me, co-workers, and those who care about me, and I said, ‘Get behind me Satan and just leave me alone, for my Lord is bigger and I belong to Him’! My day brightened; Mr. Chuck continues to bring sunshine to my life on days when clouds try to take away the warmth and light that comes from close connections to the Lord.
Jerry Hatch introduced me to Mr. Chuck one Sunday morning after worship service. Our relationship was based on phone conversations and cards with uplifting sentiments. We were best of friends but had never met one another. What a wonderful day it was when our relationship was sealed with a bond that grows stronger through each season of our lives. Mr. Chuck has given me ‘Our Daily Bread daily planners’ the past three years. Each time I refer to my planner to help get me through each day, I think of Mr. Chuck and his spirit of encouragement and endurance through suffering and sadness. His smile shines through his cheerful voice even on days when clouds smother his sunshine. He calls several times each week with words of encouragement. He volunteers each Wednesday at The Learning Station to read and pray with the children. He visits the rest homes with Jerry to bring sunshine to folks who seldom feel the warmth of the sun’s rays.
The past two years have presented challenges for Mr. Chuck and his wife, Carolyn. They have endured over a dozen hospital stays, spent three months in Southwood Nursing Center (the two of them sharing a room), canceled their 50th wedding anniversary due to sickness, witnessed their grandson overcome a car accident, and survived a direct hit from the tornado that swept through our county last spring. The two were sitting on their couch when winds from the tornado blew out the windows in their home. They found themselves on the floor with a few cuts and bruises but rose up with thankful hearts and shattered nerves. They continue to praise God for keeping them safe and secure from storms. They spend their days at doctor’s appointments, caring for one another, and enjoying their sunset years with smiles instead of sadness. Mr. Chuck calls each week to uplift and comes on Wednesdays (when he is having a good day) to read and bring joy to The Learning Station kids.
Mr. Chuck’s story of rising up and recounting love is one of the sweetest I’ve ever read. Chapter after chapter, he rises up and refuses to allow suffering to steal his sunshine. Reading Psalm 84: 11-12 brought Mr. Chuck to my mind today. “For the Lord God is a sun and a safe-covering. The Lord gives favor and honor. He holds back nothing good from those who walk in the way that is right. O Lord of all, how happy is the man who trusts in You!”
Mr. Chuck is a happy man who looks at the silver lining of life as a gift from God. He calls me an angel; I call him a saint. His friendship is golden and grand, with a glow that shines brightly through all seasons. He is happy in the Lord and loves sharing his story. I love listening and look forward to the next chapter. Are you writing a happy story believing God will keep you safe through your suffering? Make Jesus the main character and you will live happily ever after.