I grew up in one of those Judeo-Christian homes that apparently strike terror in the hearts of the likes of Betty Friedan, Alan Grayson and Kathryn Joyce. My parents never had sex until they got married to each other. Theirs is an enduring...

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Is Suffering a Bad Thing?

Jonathan and Cristin lost their much-loved dad to cancer about a year and a half ago. Cristin was in her last year of highschool. They stood in our front room about three weeks later and spoke of the Lord's faithfulness.

Jonathan explained that while the pain is difficult, he knew that one day, when he knew the whole story, he would be able to say wholeheartedly... and at this point his eyes tear up despite his characteristic smile... "Thank you, Lord, for taking Dad home. I wouldn't have had it any other way."

Cristin follows by describing the impact they've already had in the life of a struggling family, because in the face if their father's death, they have confidence in the goodness of God.

Those who have suffered, somehow their words carry weight. They are the only ones who know firsthand that they can count on the Lord, even in adversity. They know because they've been there, they counted on Him, and found Him faithful. Their lives, and their confidence, is to the rest of us, the substance of what we hope for, and the evidence of what we have yet to see for ourselves.

Suffering, then, becomes something to treasure. Our society, our churches, like to forget that suffering is valuable. So I really appreciated reading this account of the worth of suffering.

They trusted God, and he shone through their suffering, illuminating them, illuminating us with our fears, our lines drawn in the sand, the places beyond which most of us would not go and still call Him good.

They drew no lines in the sand. And they found that His goodness is everywhere.

2 Comments:

Blogger mary ann said...

Thanks for posting this. Suffering has a beautiful purpose in life -- it calls forth our capacity to love. May we rise to whatever challenge the Lord places in our path.

6:49 PM  
Blogger 1of14 said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Mary Ann!

11:54 AM  

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