In the Midst of Suffering

Sherri Shackel-Dorren, Volunteer Writer, Wheaton | March 22, 2023

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

For God has proved his love by giving us His greatest treasure, the gift of His Son. And since God freely offered Him up as the sacrifice for us all, He certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give.

Romans 8:32 (TPT)

I remember when my mother was dying. From the time of her emergency heart surgery, until she went to be with the Lord four months later, I was consumed with her care. It wasn’t a straight path. She was in and out of the ER, rehab, and vent centers, until she wasn’t—which was a different tumultuous journey. During those months, and for many following, the things that would have bothered, worried, or annoyed me in the past, didn’t. I didn’t care about what I wore to the hospital or if I needed a haircut. I didn’t care that I was sleep deprived. I didn’t care about all the things I was missing out on because I spent all my days and much of my nights in a medical facility. I didn’t even care that I wasn’t getting paid for the months I stayed with her. 
It sounds strange to say, given all the complexities that I was dealing with, but there was a simplicity to life that I wanted to keep. Good friends and family helped me. Several even came from across the country to stay with me. Their kindness reached my soul. So did caring phone calls, and prayerful letters. These people made God’s love tangible to me, and I needed to know beyond knowledge (Ephesians 3:19) that not just God, but God’s love, was with me. I think that’s why Paul, when he writes about all kinds of suffering, says, “There is no power…that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus…” (Romans 8:39 TPT). God’s love is the most powerful force in the universe. When circumstances are beyond our control and breaking our hearts, we need to know we are loved. And even though God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8), there is a strength and comfort He wants to impart to us, His dearly loved children.

Next Steps

  • Spend time talking with God about Romans 8:18-39 and ask Him to penetrate your soul with the comfort of His love. 
  • Reach out to a friend who is hurting. Let them know you care by listening, doing acts of service, or inviting them to get together.