Reading Joni’s posts during her battle with cancer is an inspiration. (Please continue to pray for Ken and Joni Tada for wisdom in the decisions they need to make about future radiation and drug treatments now that her chemotherapy is done.) I appreciate her “realness” and marvel at her ability to, in a few brief words, convey just enough of her pain, to make you appreciate her praise. She always turns your eyes to Jesus. This makes me think of the hymn we sang in our Home Church service this week, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” I heard the words anew:
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Saviour,
And life more abundant and free!
Thro’ death into life everlasting He passed,
Over us sin no more hath dominion–
For more than conqu’rors we are!
His word shall not fail you–He Promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Quoting Joni (from her Oct. 1 post), “It’s amazing how often I’ve tried to find ‘meaning’ in tough times (like the one I’m going through). I’ve got to keep reminding myself that suffering has no meaning in itself. Left to its own, it is a frustrating and bewildering burden. But given the context of relationship, suffering suddenly has meaning…”
I can totally relate. I’m always trying to find meaning in trials, when God is trying to draw me into a deeper relationship with Himself. That is the true meaning in everything. I want to find the Lesson, He showers me with His Love.
Quoting Joni again, “He’s interested in ‘going deep’ with us, especially when we’re suffering. My cancer has shown me that I want to know a God like this! Shove me under the waterfall of his joy, splashing and spilling over heaven’s walls, because if he’s always in a good mood, I want to catch it. If I’m lost, I want him to find me. Part the heavens, Lord, come down, and embrace me. It’s then when my suffering makes sense. Complete sense.”
Listening to Ken and Joni share (on Dr. Dobson’s Family Talk from Nov. 5, 2010), of “splashes of heaven” they’ve experienced in the “intimate moments” involved in sacrificial love during her battle with cancer and all its inelegant needs, I wept. I remember the sacrificial love of my husband when I had cancer. When I was not able, physically or emotionally, to take care of cleansing my own wound and applying the dressing twice a day, he said, “I will.” When Ken and Joni talked, it touched a deep chord in me. The love they’ve shared is a love which displays itself in continuing acts by two people of kindness, love and sacrifice. These are the courageous and intimate moments which bind a couple together, and say, “I do,” again and again and again. It is a romantic love story written in trial and pain.
This is God’s Love. No credit goes to human beings. It is supernatural. Empowered by the Holy Spirit. God is RELATIONAL. With a capital R. He is so Personal. He draws us continually, through every joy and sorrow, every pain and perseverance, to Himself. There is no meaning in suffering, but complete sense in loving Him.