Friday, January 22, 2010

On Suffering

I've noticed lately that my 'quiet time' of the day isn't necessarily during the day when I'm rocking Isaac and reading-it's become more apparent to me that I love the peaceful stillness of the morning hour after I feed him around 4/5am. This is when he goes right down and sleeps the best, and perhaps it's because I'm then left awake for a while before crawling back into bed that I can take the opportunity to soak up this quiet time before my day really begins.

Today, however, my quiet time has me thinking about some friends. They recently had a little baby boy who is only a week old, and whom they found out has a form of cancer called neuroblastoma. Praisefully they believe there's still a chance that the tumor might go away on its own, or that it just needs close monitoring for now and that they might be able to go home soon and come back later for tests. My heart goes out to this new little family. I sit here listening to my baby snoring (literally) in the crib next to me and wonder why I'm so lucky to have this precious, healthy little baby while they are still in the hospital trying to figure out how to care for their newborn son and his condition. I'm praying that the Great Physician would heal this little guy, as only He can do. I ask that you would pray as well.

In the meantime, between this child, the disaster in Haiti, others close to us that we've discovered are also battling illness...I'm sure some have to stop and ask God, "Why suffering?" I personally do not think that God allows bad things to happen, but He is there when they do, in the midst of the pain, He is there to make good of bad that it might draw others to Him and bring Him glory.  I am reading a book right now called 'Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith' by Glenn Packiam, and in it I think he has a great explanation on suffering:

'I cannot answer why some suffer while others do not. I understand that the dynamics of free will and a fallen world play some role. But still, why God intervenes some times and chooses not to at others is a mystery. I believe that, in the end, redemption-God's ability to take what is lost or messed up and make it work for our good and His glory-is more powerful than prevention or intervention. I believe that future glory far outweighs momentary afflictions. But why the momentary afflictions, why the trouble in this world that is allowed to persist? God only knows. And that's the point: There are some things only God knows and understands. To deny as much is to have reduced God into our image.' (Pg. 62-63).

That last line hits me: only God knows and understands. Why? Because He is God. I think about the verse in Philippians 4:6-7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." His will transcends all of our worldly understanding, yet there's so much peace in knowing that He already knows, He is already there in that moment, and we can rest knowing He is in control.

So thank you, Lord, for already knowing, for already using these sufferings for Your glory, and thank you for the peace in the trials, the calm in the storm, and the strength to endure this journey.


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