2 Corinthians 1:8-9 January 30, 2009
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
There are many people in my life that I often wonder, "God, why do you allow this pain, suffering or hardship on them?"
Obviously, I wonder that for my son, Joshua and his rare disorder that brings on him numerous doctor visits, nurses watching him almost 24 hours a day, needle sticks all the time, testing of all kinds and missing out on so much that a normal, healthy child is able to do and probably takes for granted. But Joshua - I'm sure with a great big bunch of God's help - is able to perservere and even prosper at times.
James has suffered through the loss of a wife (Christina), mother of his first child, Steffany. Then, he is at the hospital when his only son goes into respiratory arrest and endures this rare disorder and all that it brings with it. And most recently, he is worrying about losing his father to cancer.
The latest report on my father-in-law, Tom is that the doctors think the cancer may have spread to his brain. He has been at the hospice house for the last few days and in more pain than ever. In fact, today, doctors have given him a medication to put him out for the day. But, Tom has had many fairly good days since the day this fall when doctors estimated he only had about three months to live. He surpassed their expectations, reaching another birthday the end of 2008 and lasting almost another month. But now with this amount of pain, and the news that the cancer is not going away but growing, we are beginning to ask God to spare him even if it means taking him home to Heaven. We know God has it all in control.
And I take care of a woman who at age 18 was diagnosed with a type of arthritis that meant she could have no more children and would gradually over the years rob her ability to walk, stand, sit up on her own or really use her hands to do much of anything. More than ten years ago, she had to get a trach because the cartilage in her neck deteriorated until her windpipe was being crushed. Now, at the age of 72, she is in such poor health that she many times wonders why God is keeping her alive.
But God has his reasons for all of this. I know it. And one day, He will shed the light on the rest of us so we can know His reasons and give Him the glory for it.
I know right now, each of these people coping with the difficulties they face inspire me and help me not to take everything for granted.