“Suffer Well”


A good theology of suffering teaches us not to waste our sorrows, but to sidle up as close as we can to the heart of Jesus as we endure our pains.

While I’d rather sound like Elijah than Eeyore when I pray, the “positive confession” can sometimes be more spiritualistic than spiritual. I want to grieve the reality of my loss— not the loss of my reality.

Oswald Chambers says, “Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him.” My focus has been on learning to trust God with my life (and death) rather than trying to pin him down to a particular outcome.

In these years of fighting a fearsome disease, my thinking about faith has been slowly shifting. I’ve come to realize that sometimes God has his reasons for miraculously making us well and at other times he gives us the strength to suffer well. The same God who said to Moses, “I am the Lord who heals you,” also said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient” for him to endure his “thorn in the flesh.”

– Originally published in The Other End of the Dark: A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway (the profits of which go to Freedom House).

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