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SUFFERING

This morning Heather’s and my newborn son was rolled off to the ICU before we had been given the opportunity to hold him–a very anxious and heart-wrenching time. His condition has improved throughout the day, and we are incredibly relieved and thankful. This afternoon I was told of a couple whose baby was stillborn two days ago in the same hospital I’m typing this blog post. I could have sobbed for hours listening to their story. This evening I read this week’s notes for a class I’m taking at Harding Graduate School of Religion. This week’s material was primarily about a Christian’s response to suffering. As part of our grade, we post some thoughts each week to an Application Forum about that week’s topic. Below are excerpts from my responses to the posts of two other students in my class who each shared their stories of overcoming suffering…

hospital

Response #1: I hope that I will handle suffering in my life the way you are handling it in yours. Specifically, I hope I will be able to ask “what” instead of “why.” I tend to want to get to the bottom of everything (as you can see from my post this week, I suppose); I admire you for asking the most productive questions. I also hope I will be able to not allow suffering to consume my thoughts and life. I admire how you are not constantly thinking about your suffering, but are able to continue to minister and live in power and not fear. Thank you for blessing me by the sharing of your story.

Response #2: I like what you said–that “why” is likely not the question that will get people through these difficult times. Maybe the “why” question is helpful before suffering–to prepare for suffering up ahead. But in the middle of suffering, the “why” question seems to typically be counterproductive, since we’ve not been granted full access into the mind of God. Like you said at the end of your post, what choice do we have but to walk by faith?

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