May the God of patience and consolation 1 grant you patience and His caress of consolation to strengthen you to continue the struggle.
My child, do not look only at the present pains, but raise your eyes “as one weaned from his mother” 2 and behold: “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us,” 3 who long for the manifestation of our Christ.
Do not measure only the pains, but philosophically consider the reward, for isn’t God just? God deprived you of the comfort of having healthy feet in order to count you worthy to celebrate the great resurrection of your soul “with a joyful step” 4 there in the Jerusalem on high. Yes, indeed, all of Scripture proclaims this.
My child, walk in Christ bearing in mind the eternal joy to come. Do not grow weary of contending; do not imagine that you are beating the air, for truly there is a fight going on as there was with Job. He patiently bore a martyrdom of a variety of pains, and his wife pushed him towards eternal death through her evil advice; whereas you are being advised through these pains to obtain eternal life. He sat on a dung heap, was covered with sores, and was ridiculed as a sinner, but you rest at home upon a bed and are considered to be a virtuous Christian. Do you see how inferior we are? Therefore, endure patiently and thank God Who gave you such a gift, so that He might make you, as a grateful servant, an heir of His boundless kingdom! Amen; so be it.
1 Rom. 15:5
2 Ps. 130:3
3 Rom. 8:18
4 Paschal Canon, Ode Five
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu
Elder Efraim of Arizona-Illness