Piling up Our Woes

Here are just a few situations I am aware of among fellow believers. Some I know personally and others I know from a distance. All have been forced into learning the greatness and superhuman power of God’s grace.

A successful pastor of a large church and bestselling writer who has brain cancer.
An even more succesful pastor whose wife has breast cancer and whose son, in the dregs of depression, committed suicide.
A woman and her three young sons who were left behind when her husband took off for work on his motorcycle one morning and was killed by a truck.
A man who lost his sister, mother, wife, and daughter in a single automobile accident.
A couple whose two children were born with severe mental retardation and who chose to raise them at home, feeding them, changing them, and restraining them all of their lives.
A man with rectal cancer who, after a number of painful surgeries, cannot ever go to the bathroom like a normal person again.
A man with spina bifida who from the time he was a young, has slowly curled into a wheelchair.

With the exception of the first two cases, I know all of them (and more not mentioned) personally. None have “escaped” their situations. It has been a slow burn, with the challenges having started back in the eighties. All of them to this day continue strongly in Christ. Watching them was not some type of human showcase–“A Triumph of the Human Spirit!”–as the movie billboards might say. Instead, it was the mysterious operations of grace in action. More than just surviving, which people must do every day in the face of these things, they flourished, grew, and were filled with a greater sense of divine presence than ever before.

I wonder if Christian confidence, then, is founded on a confidence not only in God’s protection, but in God’s grace. For sure if He can say, “My grace is sufficient for you,” we can say it along with him.

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