In June my mom came to visit and we attended a Living Proof Live event with Beth Moore. During an intermission, Mom and I went to check out the bookstore and I found a book by Elisabeth Elliot, Suffering is Never for Nothing, published posthumously. I clutched it to my chest like a security blanket, Elisabeth Elliot is my heroine.
In the weeks since the conference I have been savoring the wisdom of Elisabeth once more. She has been honest and challenging as she shares the truth about suffering. She pulls no punches and speaks with straight forward honesty. No softening the blows; troubles, suffering, loss are all part of life. We will all experience them as we walk on our journey.
Elisabeth speaks of Job being an example of patience during his trials. I am not sure that he was patient as much as he was a man that clung to the bigger picture. He had no idea why he lost his children, his crops, and his health. But he did know that God must have had a purpose. There had to be a reason from God’s perspective, even if it was only visible to God.
With the many pains and sorrows my circle of loved ones has felt recently, I have often asked God what He is doing. Sometimes I have said it as a whisper, sometimes as a guttural scream to the sky. I have never heard an answer to my question. Just a commanding statement of, Trust Me.
During this time of uncertainty I have to will myself to listen to Him and lean into Him when I can hardly keep myself upright. C.S. Lewis said it well, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
We know Scripture says we will have trouble in this world. We know Christ said to take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). It does not mean that Jesus is going to carry us over the troubles like a magic carpet until the trouble is resolved. It means that He is going to carry us through.
Suffering is never a loss, never a waste, never for nothing. When I cannot figure out why it is happening, I continue to choose to lean into the One who understands it all.
Best Beloved, I cannot imagine your pain, I do not try to understand it. I do believe that God knows and He is waiting for you to lean into Him. He will be with you, no matter what. I know this is true. He has done this for me, again and again.