We all dread that call from the school, the one that may leave the parent crying as much or more than the child. I still remember getting the call from my son’s school last Spring, informing me that my 5 year old at the time had fallen off the monkey bars, had landed on another child, had lost two teeth and has a large gash but they are not sure where it is on his face because there is too much blood to tell. I am normally a calm person, but when you tell me that one of my children is in pain like this, I tend to turn into a raging lunatic / emotional basket-case / deer in headlights, which is not a good condition to be in while driving. Thankfully, I was blessed with a husband who remains calm in crisis. He was able to go to the school, take him to get checked out, eventually get stitches in his lip, and turn the whole thing into an adventure that ended with ice cream. Don’t you wish that all pain and suffering could be done in a day and end with ice cream?
Then there are some illnesses or struggles that creep up on us slowly, that started out small and then turned into an unbearable crisis.
This has been a rough couple of years for my family and I. We have had many hospital visits, many allergist visits, many doctor visits, many chiropractor visits and for some things, we are still praying for healing, still trusting in healing. Sometimes it was our youngest son having allergic reactions and severe asthma attacks, once I had to have surgery, and once had a horrible case of the flu, a few times, my husband threw his back out. I will admit. I have sometimes gotten to the point that I wanted to keep my family in a bubble and never come out. However, I need to remind myself that God never promised that we would have healing the minute we ask for it. He never promised that we would even have complete healing in this life. We live in a broken world, a world with germs, with disease, with allergies, with less than ideal food options, and sometimes, honestly less than ideal finances to purchase the best food options. God did promise us that in this world we would have trouble, but also that HE HAS ALREADY OVERCOME THE WORLD!
So, as I pray for healing for myself, for my children, for my husband, and for many other loved ones off and on as all of the struggles come and go, I will trust in the Healer, trust in the one who made us. I will trust that He sees the big picture. I will trust that He knows what is best in the grand scheme of things. No, I don’t believe that God wants us to suffer, don’t misunderstand me. I do, however, believe that when suffering comes, whether in physical pain, emotional pain, in loss of a loved one, or in other ways, God can use that pain and turn it into something better. He can use it to remind us to trust in Him. He can use it to remind us that He is all we need. He can use it to change me into a better person, a more compassionate, a more loving, a more generous person.
Do you know anyone who is a spoiled brat? Do you know someone who has never had to work hard a single day in his or her life? Do you know anyone who has had life handed to them on a silver spoon? And what do you think of that person’s character? Is he or she a pleasant person to be around? I didn’t think so. Suffering comes in all forms. It can be health, it can be finances, it can be failed relationships, failed jobs or businesses, addictions. You name it, somewhere, someone has suffered through it. But if they went through it, that means it is done. That means there is an end to it, and more than likely, that person is stronger, braver, more compassionate, or has learned something from their suffering.
Let’s make a promise to each other today. Let’s promise to pull together and love on each other when we are going through suffering. Let’s not point fingers, or blame someone, or make up some lame excuse for not helping like “That’s because of their sins”. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Let those with sin, (everyone on this Earth), show compassion, band together, and help each other through our suffering, continue to pray for healing, and continue to grow stronger together.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Jesus Referring to those who wished to stone the woman caught in adultery:
When they kept on questioning him (Jesus), he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7