“God points to the peaceful attitudes of suffering people to teach others about Himself. “ Joni E. Tada
As I approach my sixth year living with Type I, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, I have finally come to peace with my pain.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Pain is my companion — Whether friend or foe — pain is a catalyst in my life for change and transformation.
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3–5)
As I embrace the sovereignty of God, I believe everything I have endured has been ordained by God. “God lets us continue to feel much of sins sting through suffering while we’re heading for heaven. This constantly reminds us of what we’re being delivered from; exposing sin for the poison it is.” Joni E. Tada
Then I remember these words from Isaiah 53:10, “But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.”
Submission and surrender to the will of God was Plan A from before the foundation of the world. God the Father and God the Son, Jesus, had already discussed this plan. There was no Plan B.
“My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26:39)
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. (Romans 8:18)
“This is God’s universal purpose for all Christian suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in the world.” John Piper
I’m back in the fiery furnace — it’s been hard. But God continues to refine me.
“If you had never known the physical pain in your life, how could you appreciate the nail-scarred hands with which Jesus Christ will meet you.” Joni E. Tada
At least I can take comfort in this: “Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10)
Embracing the words of Jesus written by John in John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
I’ve been preparing for this kind of journey my whole life.
And now it’s here.