If my family’s run in with cancer and the stories you all have told me, have showed me anything, it’s that suffering of any kind sucks!
I remember where I was when I got the call that mum had been diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer, then again when my sister Jo got the same news, and finally it was my turn.
And I know whatever hard things you’re walking through right now suck too.
Cancer and any type of pain, suffering, hardship sucks. It just does.
Suffering sucks physically and emotionally but we often forget that it sucks spiritually as well because pain of any kind affects our relationship with God.
Suffering isn’t just painful, it’s personal.
When we see others suffer, shootings, disease, hunger, trafficking, addiction – suffering that’s out there – we ask what kind of God allows suffering?
But when it’s us suffering, when we’re the one who’s been betrayed or received a devastating diagnosis, our question becomes, what kind of God are you that you’re letting me suffer?
Our personal suffering is just that, personal, and it affects our personal relationship with our relational God.
I remember pulling over and taking the call that my tumor was cancer.
I screamed, What the heck? I thought you were good? What’s happening? After all I’ve done for you?
It felt so personal. I felt let down, unseen, unloved, forgotten, and left behind. Like my faith wasn’t strong enough to ward this off.
Eventually I found myself I asking the two questions we all end up asking one way or another when we’re struggling:
1. God, what do you have to say to ME in MY pain
2. What am I meant to DO
For all of us the answer to these 2 questions is simply, STOP WAITING.
It might be a tough thing to hear when running on fumes, just trying to get by and we may not even realize we are waiting but the chances are, you are.
Because here’s the problem, as soon as life gets hard we tend to hide away, dig in for the long haul, deny it’s hard, soldier on and put life on hold.
We brush it off, wax our stiff upper lip, and try our darnedest to keep calm and carry on.
We hunker down and WAIT, sure we’ll find life again sometime in the future
We wait for the storm to pass, the waters to stop raging, and life to return to normal, determined to survive and make it through.
It’s the same no matter what we’re battling.
Have you ever found yourself saying..
If I can just … when … as soon as … (find the right guy, deal with my stroppy teenager, get enough$$, get pregnant, get through this grief)
But that’s not the gospel message!! THAT’S NOT THE GOOD NEWS!
Jesus didn’t say, I have come that you might have life and life in all its fullness, buuuutttt… you’re going to have to ride out this storm and simply survive and get through until life gets easier. Then you’ll find it.
The truth is, when we stop waiting we discover life doesn’t have to be pain free to be full.
Let me ask you, have you been waiting for life to get better before you live it to the full?
Is life on hold until that “thing” gets sorted out/fixed/less painful?
If you’re waiting, digging in and hunkering down I get it, but I want to invite you to stop waiting and start grabbing hold of all God has for you right where you are.
It might not look like the glossy, happy, skippy, healthy, wealthy, life we assume other people are living, but it’s good, really good. Even in the midst of our hardest moment’s God’s full, abundant life is there for a us in all it’s tenderness, comfort, peace, strength, intimacy and yes, even laughter.
If you want to grab hold of everything God and life have to offer even in the midst of this tough season, grab my FREE AUDIO How to Handle Anything Life Throws at You and discover three strategies to give you the self confidence and trust to thrive, not just survive, right where you are.