One question that you and I ask, if we are honest, is why. Why? Why do we suffer? That is one of life’s toughest realities. Disclaimer: this post is not claiming to fully deal with this tough subject!
Dear fellow-sufferer, I am excited to say my reading this week has blessed me with materials for multiple posts that encouraged me. I must share! Comfort is meant to be shared. Last night I could not sleep for hours. To be honest, I was battling anxiety. I needed my feeble faith to be encouraged. Turned my Kindle app on, and there was a book I hadn’t finished, hadn’t looked at for weeks. Joni Earickson Tada and I fellowshipped through the night watches until my weary soul found rest.
To give you a tiny overview, Joni has been wheelchair-bound for about forty years. For many years she did not experience pain, but learned to deal with the extreme limitations of a quadripelegic. Joy. Triumph. Abundant usefulness. Blessing. Joni and Friends is a ministry that has blessed thousands of disabled people.
After so many years of being severely disabled, Joni’s body has deteriorated to the point of extreme chronic pain. It is an excruciating new chapter in her life of suffering. She shares her struggles openly in her book A Place of Healing: Wrestling With The Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty.
“Every day of our short lives—even every hour—has eternal consequences for good or ill. Eternity—and the way we’ll live in it—is somehow being shaped by our moment-by-moment responses to the life we have before us to live right now. And so it is only fitting that God should give us some sense of the stakes involved. I’m so grateful that life for us is not an easy road. If it were, if the Lord did not occasionally give us a taste of hell’s splashover, you and I would soon forget that this world is not our home. I’m also grateful that He opens our eyes from time to time to the magnitude of this spiritual war we are in. He does this by giving us wonderful foretastes of glory divine in the joys we experience, and He does it by allowing us foretastes of hell in our suffering. Whatever we are experiencing today, we can be reminded of the eternal stakes involved. That, too, keeps me going. It’s not easy “going on” right now in my life—but I must go on and I will go on, until He calls me home.”
There it is! Did you catch that? One reason for suffering. A taste of “hell’s splash over” reminds us not to make this world our home. Reminds us not to forget the spiritual warfare we are in. The stakes are high. Keep pressing on in faith, dear reader. Stay tuned as I am excited to share a couple more nuggets of comfort found this past week. Share your comfort in the comment section below.
Citation (MLA): Tada, Joni Eareckson. A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty. David C. Cook, 2010. Kindle file.