Dear sister, I’m about to bleed with you all over this page,
so hang on and hear me out.
Books upon books have been devoted to the “whys” of suffering.
Why another blog post on this topic?
Well, I’ve had a tiny little ray of understanding, a bit of sunshine in the darkness.
I’ve felt like I have been shut up in a dark closet lately.
I’ve wondered if death was just around the corner for my loved one. Is it time?
You haven’t seen me post for a few weeks.
I’ve given until I have nothing more to offer.
No more spoons to pick up (if you understand the “spoonie” lingo among the chronically ill).
Nothing to give you. Just hanging on to Jesus.
Endless sleepless nights I remind myself, I’m God’s girl.
I’m His beloved in Christ Jesus.
He’s promised me His love never changes for me. I’m banking on that.
How is it that David and then Jesus Himself
could come to a place of such suffering in their lives
that all they could do is cry out brokenly and wretchedly,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from hearing my cries?”
Have you ever walked through such flaming, scorching times?
I only glimpsed the edges of this suffering during four years
of watching my sis-in-love with stage 4 breast cancer.
I wasn’t there every week.
What I did see frequently on her “care team” was enough
to break my heart repeatedly.
I watched the downward spiral of my brother’s health and exhaustion
and wondered how much more both the cancer patient and the caregiver could take!
It’s my turn in the flames.
I’m watching my loved one suffer excruciatingly both physically and mentally.
After so many years of physical suffering, the mental battles are equally intense.
I’m on the frontlines. I’m the primary caregiver and breadwinner.
Can’t quit. Can’t stop. Can’t resign.
There are things you see with burning clarity
when you are walking through the flames, if you are His beloved.
If you look with the tear-filled eyes of trust, you see.
God is God. I am not. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.
Words from The Lord’s prayer — timeless and true as the eternal Savior
that spoke them.
He is LORD. Do I really believe that? Then yes. Yes! He’s got a plan from eternity that is right on track. Satan’s going down.
God will triumph! I’m just a speck of dust in that eternal plan.
Somehow, we do matter in this plan!
“Are you not of more value than many sparrows?”
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
(Mine are falling out rapidly…easier to count!”)
“All things work together for good to those that love God.”
MY life may be the only “Jesus” that some of those around me see.
How I walk with the broken matters.
I’m Christ’s ambassador to my family and friends.
Do you any doubt after the events of this last month that this is a cruel, hateful world
that’s turned its back on God? So many terrible things in the news!
The depths of evil are too dark for us without God’s love.
“Let your LIGHT so shine before men, that they may SEE your good deeds and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Divorce and abandonment rates among the chronically ill
and those with cancer is extremely high.
I’ve seen and heard of it with my own two eyes numerous times now.
Folks who abandon their family at their time of greatest need —
what kind of love is that?
My daughter needs to see Jesus’s hands and feet lived out in my life.
Our mission as parents is to show the mighty acts of God to THIS generation. How?
True lovers of Jesus,
true children of the Heavenly Father
don’t abandon the broken,
the “useless” of society. Jesus did not.
In fact, hurting people are highlighted in the Gospels.
The lepers, the blind, the lame, the sick all came to Jesus in droves.
He came to show us the Father.
He cast out a Legion of demons from a man so extremely broken that he lived alone
with dead bodies, tormented and naked.
Do we think this is a distant fairy tale?
Sometimes I think I’ve been guilty of this distancing myself from
what Jesus actually did while here on earth!
This man living naked in the tombs clearly was not sane!
His insanity was due to demon possession.
(NOT my take on mental illness — that’s a whole different post).
The point is — Jesus became ceremonially unclean
to even reach out to this man living among dead bodies!
He did what most good, religious folk of his day would not do —
and reached out in healing power to this outcast man.
What about serious genetic defects? Why this suffering?
Many chronic auto-immune diseases have their roots in genetic defects.
So much sorrow in the gene pool! Why?
Jesus spoke truth with power when his own disciples asked,
“Who sinned, Jesus? This blind man or his parents that he was born this way?”
Broken words like poisonous arrows from a prideful heart,
similar to words spoken even today to families who are experiencing health issues.
Suffering bodies, suffering minds, suffering hearts — Jesus answers the accusers.
He answers the Accuser of our souls, too.
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned.
But it happened
so that the works of God might be displayed in him!” John 9:3
What floods of relief must have washed over this blind man overhearing this!
How many years had he begged blindly by the side of the road and wondered, WHY?
How many times has your chronically-ill family member, your disabled friend,
your mentally-ill loved one wondered, Why? What am I worth?
Why am I still living?
Jesus was not saying that this man or his parents were not sinners —
that they had never sinned!
He was saying that this blind beggar could display the works of God in his life
through the power of Jesus!
For the blind beggar, that meant healing here and now.
He met Jesus the King over genetics!
I’m filled with gratitude
that Jesus knows our sufferings perfectly.
He’s in the flames with us.
He will help us do the will of the Father.