Tag Archives: suffering

walking through something difficult

“One of the main metaphors the Bible gives us for facing affliction is walking – walking through something difficult, perilous and potentially fatal. The walking metaphor points to the idea of progress. Many ancients saw adversity as merely something to … Continue reading

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Do you want to know who you are?

“If you believe in Jesus and you rest in Him, then suffering will relate to your character like fire relates to gold. Do you want to know who you are – your strengths and weaknesses? Do you want to be … Continue reading

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suffering with hope and courage, not bitterness and despair

“Christianity does not provide the reason for each experience of pain, but it does provide deep resources for actually facing suffering with hope and courage rather than bitterness and despair.” (Tim Keller) Remember His words to you, dear Christian. Words … Continue reading

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the gardener who cares prunes his vines

Spring snuck up on us this year. Winter never seemed to arrive, and now, plants and trees and vines that need pruning are suddenly sprouting with early growth. Most years at pruning time, I get lost in thoughts about the … Continue reading

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suffering is never for nothing

When we face news that leaves us speechless with confusion and grief, and we realize we’re  being led into a new path of intense suffering, what can we know to be true? Elisabeth Elliot used to tell a story that … Continue reading

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Chronic pain and dangerous words

I’ve been thinking about friends who suffer from chronic pain and the harmful half-truths they often hear from well-meaning, but unbiblical teaching — teaching that’s just-enough-off to be ruinous. Teaching that’s anathema to God and heaps pain on those already … Continue reading

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Not the wheelchair but the attitude

Words Joni Eareckson Tada writes about wheelchairs and attitudes are ones I’m still trying to fully grasp and genuinely apply to my own life. I keep thinking through her explanation of the unexpected (and often wrongly interpreted) twist of Jesus’ … Continue reading

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what you would have asked for

Pithy, precise, profound — those are the kinds of quotes God often uses to quicken and soften our hearts. A wise, couple-sentence summation of God’s truth often stills my anxious heart, or alerts me to lies I’m believing in the … Continue reading

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Don’t waste your pain

In those early days, when our family was still reeling from our entry into the unknown world of childhood cancer (you can read more about those days here), my recurring prayer was that God would not allow us to dishonor … Continue reading

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these inward trials

Why these inward trials, Lord? Why not instantly subdue my sin with the mighty wave of Your hand? Why not deal softly with my treasured designs for a safe and secure life? Why not allow your child even a bit … Continue reading

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in the mundane and in the calamity

Truth to remember when your day unfolds as one of mundaneness, for the mundane often trains for the day of unexpected calamity: “If God does not reign over the mundane events in our lives, He does not reign at all.” … Continue reading

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Lean hard.

This summer, our oldest daughter led our family through a cleaning out and reorganizing of every drawer and file and nook and cranny of our home. At her urging, we poured through years of accumulated memorabilia, and in the process … Continue reading

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Better than a thousand substitutes

Each year as the calendar rolls toward the end of March, I begin to think back to the news we received on that momentous day five years ago. In some ways it seems like yesterday as my mind runs back, … Continue reading

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A thorn to pin aside the veil

Living before medicine would have cured or medicated her symptoms, Martha Snell Nicholson was bed-ridden with intense pain for decades. In the midst of her pain, and because of it, she wrote one of the more meaningful poems I’ve read … Continue reading

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Upside down in a ditch of despair

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?  Why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalm 42:5) When have you found your soul in turmoil? When have your cries sounded like those of the psalmist?  Maybe you’re there even now … Continue reading

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