In July of this year, my wife decided to go to the doctor. She had been tired and not feeling right for weeks. And then a whirlwind hit our family and our lives were flipped upside down. The doctors told my wife she had Leukemia. She was immediately flown from our home in Uganda to Kenya, and then, a few days later, to the United States, where we are currently living.
Over the last six months, I’ve watched my wife go through multiple rounds of chemotherapy. I’ve watched a woman who has been healthy her whole life, have her body wrecked with fevers, pain, weakness, and blood vessels bursting. On top of that, I’ve had to pull my sons, already feeling the weight of concern for their mother, from their friends and move them across the world – as we remain stranded from our home and ministry in Uganda, in a state of limbo, not knowing for how long or what the outcome will be. All the while, I sit – able to observe, but powerless to change any of these circumstances. On that hand, it has not been a great six months.
But, on the other hand, it has been a great six months. I’ve seen the Church, local and global, act like the Church by grieving with us, but also by encouraging us with prayer and provisions. I’ve seen my wife, my sons, and myself grow more fervent (and frequent) in our prayers to, and dependence upon, God. I’ve watched my wife suffer well and be an encouragement to others. God has taken this horrible curse and made it a blessing.
As I have walked through these last six months, I have spent a lot of time thinking about suffering. I don’t have to tell you about suffering. You know about it. You’ve experienced it. You’ve felt the hunger, fought the sickness, held the dying, and wept with the heartbroken and discouraged. You’ve even been the heartbroken and discouraged.
We all know suffering exists. The questions are “why?” and “for what purpose?”. Many answers to these questions have been given. I am convinced that the answers most frequently being given are often the least Biblical answers that we could give. Therefore, I want to try to explain a Biblical perspective on suffering. I want to give a primer on suffering. This series will consist of four parts:
- Part 1: The Reason for Suffering
- Part 2: The Promise of Suffering
- Part 3: The Blessing of Suffering
- Part 4: The Faith to Suffer
I hope that you will read along.