Can you find grace in the suffering? That is the question my heart is struggling with. Friends, please bear with me as this blog post will most likely be one of the hardest in my life. Writing can be cathartic for me so even though I am struggling, We show our scars so that others can know they may heal. God doesn’t want us to struggle alone.
This past month my Father unexpectedly passed away. When I got the call from my Mother I was crushed. Absolutely crushed. As a Christian, I believe that in death comes life next to God in Heaven, that this here is not our home. Death can be a celebration of a life in Heaven free of all pains, struggles, illness, and evils that attack our human lives and bodies but…. in my selfish humaness, I want my Daddy. I want to hug him and tell him I love him again. I want to tell him THANK YOU for being my Dad and adopting and loving me when I didn’t have a “Bio-dad” around but mostly for loving me when I was undeserving of it. As childish as this sounds, I just want my Daddy.
Because this is quite difficult for me and though I feel in writing this I am drowning in a river of tears, I am so filled with love knowing I was his daughter and he was my Father, I will leave you with these words that have helped me from David Powlison a Chrisitan Teacher.
What words can I say to you when your life is hard and you are hurting? If we were face to face, I probably wouldn’t start with words at all. I would want you to talk when you are able. I want to know you, what you are going through, what it is like for you, and how you are doing. Simply being present and conveying that tears, heartache, and confusion are valid would probably be more helpful. Many wise Christians have commented that Job’s counselors did well until they opened their mouths (Job 2:11-13), and I certainly don’t think there is some magic word that will make everything better.
But when it comes time to say something, I might say this: Jesus is a most sympathetic friend, fellow sufferer, and Savior. He has walked a hard road. He has felt his own anguish and crushing pain (Isaiah 53). He understands. He is compassionate toward you. By the comfort of his presence and sympathy, he intends to draw you out and draw you to Himself.
Be honest. Don’t take any shortcuts. Let each day’s trouble be sufficient for that day.
The psalms, which are so full of heartache and so full of faith, often start with simply giving voice to the experience of suffering. As they do, it’s significant to notice that they don’t simply cry out in a scream of pain. They cry out to God who hears, who cares, who draws near, who helps. We can speak to our God. May you cry out to our God. He calls you his friend. He deeply cares for you. He is your Savior. Trust Him. He has walked down this road before you. He promises to walk with you in this.
And I might say one more thing. Suffering must be walked through one step at a time. Be honest. Don’t take any shortcuts. Let each day’s trouble be sufficient for that day. Seek your Father. If you seek him, you will find him.