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Friday, February 2, 2018

Navigating Pain Well

[Note: As many of you already have discovered, the flu shot this year was not all that effective – I have been learning that by firsthand experience since early Tuesday morning.  Basically did not get out of bed Wednesday or Thursday.]
Navigating Pain Well
The diagnosis of cancer we received two years ago I have written about twice, here and here.

In light of some of the things that we have experienced as a family in the last year, and are in fact still experiencing, reviewing a thing or two may be useful.

We have experienced 4 deaths and three births, and last Tuesday, our extended family experienced another death.  Lee was my wife’s cousin’s first child.  As we have navigated these months, as I have begun to experience some of the minor side effects of the cancer, as I have watched my son learning to be a doctor and a single father after burying his wife of six years, as I have seen another son lose his third child through miscarriage, I have wondered what is the one thing that allows us to walk through times like these and emerge with not just our faith intact but stronger, fuller, and closer to Him?

I listed three things a couple of posts ago.  One of those seems to me to be the most important – in truth they all play a part – but on the first, the sovereignty of God, I would like to share some thoughts.

If we are not settled on who God is, that He is in control, then it seems that we only have two options when tragedy is part of our path.
  1. First, we must consider that the tragedy is completely random.  There is no rhyme or reason to how it occurs in our lives.  
  2. Our second option, and it is closely aligned with the first, is that God is unable or unwilling to deal with the randomness of tragedy that continually occurs in our world.
Take a minute and read:
There are many other passages we could consider, but think through these.  Consider what they say.  By that ask the primary question in reading or studying the Bible or for that matter any book or document, “What does it say?”

John says nothing has come into being that has come into being apart from Him.  Nothing.  Consider the implications of that.

Paul in Colossians echoes John and extends the argument to include that He holds all things together.

If we embrace that reality, if we live in the certainty of what John and Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit penned for us, while it does not ease or diminish the pain or grief, it give us a solid anchor on which to grasp.

This in my floundering estimation is the more important truth.  But there is at least one more.  We will consider that tomorrow (unless the flu reasserts itself – under the sovereignty of God of course).