We have a fairly new Alzheimer's Ministry group at Grace Church. We are several families with a parent or spouse with A.D. and others who want to help us. Our Special Ministries pastor, Ric McLean heads it up. This morning, at our monthly meeting, it was great to see how the group is beginning to encourage each other. I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 1:4. God, "comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." I've been thinking about Romans 8:28 too. "...God causes ALL THINGS to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Sin became part of our world in the Garden. If I were there at the time, I would have fallen just like Adam and Eve. So the resulting death, disease, loss, labor, difficulty, pain, sorrow, etc, etc, is here in every generation since the beginning. But they are not wasted. All these things cause suffering true, BUT are included in the "ALL THINGS" God is using in our lives, for GOOD. One of those good things is the comfort we experience as we are encouraged, and comforted by others who have gone before us or are right along side us. Pastor Ric reminded us of some of the ways God uses suffering in the lives of his children. The fact that suffering is very short in light of eternity, and a tool in the hand of God to mold Gary and I, is encouraging. That thought gives me COURAGE! The group is bonding in a way that will be invaluable and we're so blessed to be a part.