𝑰𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝑮𝒐𝒅, 𝒔𝒖𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒈𝒊𝒇𝒕.
Colleen Chao is living under the shadow of terminal stage four cancer, and she’s learning how to suffer with hope. It’s stunningly beautiful.
“Here’s the thing about suffering (at least in my own limited experience): none of us are good at it. None of us have the capacity to suffer well with hope and joy.”
But the secret to slowly growing into a hope-filled, joyful sufferer has been shockingly simple: Go to God. Again and again and again.
I go to Him when I’m angry at His will for me. I go to Him in the middle of the night when grief threatens to undo me. I go to Him when I’m weary to the bone, or when I’m throwing myself an epic pity party.
By ‘going to Him’ I mean I turn my thoughts to Him and tell Him exactly what I’m feeling, all the nitty-gritty, gory details. I ‘pour out my heart like water in the Lord’s presence’ (Lam. 2:19)—and with the smallest mustard seed of faith, I believe that He’s listening to me and that He will be able to do something about my suffering (Isa. 64:4).
That rhythmic act of going to Him softens my heart to listen to Him, to hear His voice, to end my self-absorbed monologue and begin a beautiful dialogue with Him.
And here’s what I’ve become increasingly convinced of through this process over decades now: I cannot hear from Him or dialogue with Him (and thus cannot suffer well) apart from His Word.
Through the pages of Scripture He speaks exactly what my heart needs to hear. He reveals himself (sometimes in ways I don’t immediately recognize), and those revelations change everything—my thoughts and desires and perspective and all.
And herein lies one of the most sacred gifts of suffering: the sufferer has a unique capacity to experience God through His Word in ways that cannot be experienced through days of comfort and ease.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I’ll sing this song to my last day: in the hands of a good God, suffering is a gift.”
Read more of Colleen’s blog post: https://buff.ly/2ZHLMMC