What an ordeal—walking through a kidney stone with my thirteen-year-old son! The nurses who had had babies and kidney stones said they would go through labor any day rather than have a kidney stone. Ben was in severe pain. If I could have traded places with him I would have. I mean that. The only thing I hate more than my own pain is seeing my children suffer.
It gave me a new perspective on the Cross of Christ. We think about how severethe pain and suffering was for Christ, but what about God? He wasn’t agonizingthrough the physical suffering, but His suffering was intense. I loved the wayMel Gibson portrayed God’s pain in the movie The Passion. As Christhangs dying on the cross, the camera turns heavenward to capture a single teardrop fall to the earth. That picture says it all.
There are so many people suffering in my world. I know that you know many withchronic diseases. Our prayer lists are crammed with names of friends and lovedones who have great needs. How does heaven deal with these various situations? Romans8:18 says, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparingwith the glory that will be revealed in us." The night my son was afflictedwith his kidney stone, I was at church listening to a sermon from this passage.I didn’t know that I would be called out of the service just as the sermonended to take Ben to the Emergency Room in severe pain.
The pastor talked about how we need to compare our sufferings. Although Ben’ssuffering was extreme, it is now a thing of the past. It lasted about twenty-fourhours and most of that time he was more comfortable because of the pain medication.If I compare his suffering with the suffering of some of the people on my prayerlist, I am grateful for what our family went through. But, that’s not theright way to compare our suffering. God tells us to compare our suffering towhat is waiting for us in heaven. When we do that, we won’t consider anythingwe are dealing with as really all that bad.
Jesus did this according to Hebrews12:2, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of ourfaith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Jesus didn’tconsider His present suffering on the cross worth comparing to what was waitingfor Him in heaven. God doesn’t either. Just like I felt when I watchedmy son suffering, God feels deep pain and sorrow over the difficult ordeals weface in this life. But God knows something we need to remember. This suffering,no matter how severe it is today, will not be worth comparing to what we willhave in heaven with Him. Our suffering is difficult; we need His love and comfort,but it’s really not that bad if you know Jesus Christ as your personalSavior. You will end up better off in the end. I kept reminding myself of thisperspective when I wanted to understand why this was happening to my son. I hopeit gives you perspective on your own suffering.
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