Nov 8, 2015

Got Comfort? | Manna for your Soul

Last week, when I wrote about how God has a purpose in everything and for everyone in this life, a lot of people wrote to me about how they aren't able to see a purpose in the suffering in their lives. 
Sometimes, we go through needless pain agonizing about how God could abandon us. Our prayers are wrapped around a bundle of deceit where we tell Him how we deserve better. 

About 15 years ago, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer of the colon, we were shattered. I remember the moment like it was an hour ago. I looked up the meaning of 'Oncology' as my dad's eye filled up with tears. Doctors gave him 3 years. After a colectomy, he went through months of painful chemo and radiation therapy. While he made peace with what happened and made the best of what was left until he passed on when the cancer spread to other parts of his body. I saw the pain, the anguish and the helplessness in the eyes of a man who once was on the other side of the petri-dish. 


I admired the way he fought the stigma and the debilitating effects of cancer. Unlike other diseases, there isn't much left to do, there isn't a way you'll come close to understanding how crippling the pain can be and through it all, I realized cancer is a very humbling disease. He might have wondered why God let this happen to him, but he never once uttered it. He still prayed for the destitute, the homeless, the poor and the orphaned. He could have become bitter, but he never did. 

Years after he left, I still think about the way he suffered and marvel at the way God used him to teach me lessons in compassion. I now know a lot more about cancer than I knew then. My heart utters a silent prayer everytime I hear about a person who has cancer only because I know the pain secondhand. More than what the body goes through, I know the inexplicable pain in the heart. 

I have volunteered among patients because I know they won't have too many other people who will want to be around them. I have seen patients in the terminal stages, who can't afford any more of the expensive treatment and are left to rot away. I have seen maggots in open wounds of patients who were left to die because 'it simply isn't worth their time and effort' anymore. I've seen patients who live their every day because they know they may not live to eat the next meal. 

Not many survive that long either. 

So I've tried as little as I could to bring a smile to their faces. To the faces of their caregivers. 
Many ask me what did daddy do to die early? I won't know. 
Was daddy a saint? No. 
Yet, God chose to use him so that his son would do the things he did to random strangers who are going through worse. 

Isn't this what 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 also teaches us?
Suffering doesn't have a religion. Maggots don't discriminate and diseases couldn't care less what your God's name is. 
When daddy in his final breath said 'I am happy', he meant it. The Lord isn't a delivery service, but He sure knows how to do things in the most powerful way. 

Today, if you ask me - 'Would you like to undo something in your past?', I would say 'No'. 
Our God is The God of All Comfort. The peace that He can give you is something you and I cannot even begin to wrap your head around. He can use you not in the way people use you. And the good news is - Nothing He has touched has ever gone awry. All that he asks is - to allow Him an opportunity to experience His comfort and to have the heart that will comfort others as well. 

Because He has never and won't ever let anything happen to you that He knows you cannot handle. 
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