As a physical therapist, I get called on to alleviate physical suffering often. But physical suffering often comes with emotional and spiritual suffering as well. I see a lot of hurting people. I wish I was better equipped to address the emotional and spiritual suffering as well, but I’m not. The best I can do is be a listening ear in such times.
If you are like so many of my patients and are asking, “Why me, God?” or, like myself, you encounter these people often, I highly encourage you take a little time to watch this video from Joni Erickson Tada. If you’ve never met Joni, she is quite the inspiration as you’ll see. I’ll be quiet and let Joni speak for herself.
If you did click the link, 1) I thank you for trusting me enough to do that. I know that’s a leap of faith these days on the internet and, 2) I sincerely hope you were inspired by what Joni had to say.
Here are my favorite quotes from the interview:
“God permits what He hates to accomplish that which He loves.”
“Suffering is a splash over from hell…. A splash over from heaven is finding Jesus in your splash overs from hell.”
“So what’s the big picture here?”
No matter how big or small a suffering is, they always seem to be defining moments in a person’s life. It is our choice how we let them define us. It’s important to remember that God isn’t a big kid standing over we bugs with a magnifying glass trying to burn us to ashes. He’s not doing it because, He just feels like it nor, because we did something wrong. Good things come from suffering in God’s design. Now, whether the sufferer sees these good things is a different story. Maybe the sufferer never sees one iota of something good out of it… but maybe someone else does. “The world will never know,” to quote a famous Tootsie Pop commercial. I don’t know about you, but I keep a running list of “Things I Want to Ask God When I Get to Heaven.” This topic is on the top of that list. Because, quite frankly, this topic makes me pout at God and say, “But that’s not fair!” Then I remember two things: 1) God is a big God and doesn’t mind that I get mad at Him occasionally and 2) I do not and cannot understand all of the weavings God in His plan has going on around me. “A single thread in a tapestry… can never see its purpose in the pattern of the grand design.” — Prince of Egypt, Through Heaven’s Eyes
I’m done philosophizing, but I will leave you with links to the resources mentioned in the video and also a few of my own.
Beyond Suffering Bible (a very affordable Bible, comparatively!)
William Wilberforce Wikipedia (because he sounded like a cool guy!)
The Shack book (The book is WAY better than the movie, in my opinion.)
If you are suffering today, know that I’ve imbedded a prayer and positive thoughts in this post for you. Reach out to someone close to you that you trust and/or a professional counselor. Trust me; it helps. ❤