For a few days, I have been working on/mulling over in my head a series of posts about what I experienced and learned when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, her suffering, and her passing. Apart from my salvation, nothing else in my life has had a greater impact on me spiritually. I felt like during that time my faith was shaken and my world was broken. When I get the opportunity to tell people about this part of my testimony, I cannot say enough how God's Word comforted and gave hope to my helpless heart. I didn't get all the answers then, and still don't have them now, but the words of Scripture still ring out true again and again in my life. I'm going to try to take you on my journey through Scripture during that time. These verses remain precious to me even now.
March 6, 2007 was the day my family heard the word cancer. It is such an ugly word. It is a word that you hear that produces questions, doubt, and despair. That day was an emotional one for me. I didn't handle the news well. I left the hospital that night feeling hopeless. I had been reading through Romans and was somewhere in the middle of chapter 8. For those who don't know Romans well, chapter 8 is a meaty one. There are so many fantastic theological truths in this chapter. (But don't take my word for it, read it here.) Romans 8:28 may be one of the most popular verses of Scripture, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." Sweet promises we find in God's Word. That day, I was reading a little earlier in the chapter, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18) I am pretty sure I had no idea at that time of the work that God was going to do. Through Mom's suffering, I believe I saw glimpses of the glory of God and His work in my life, my family, and those around us. This verse is actually talking about the future glory. John MacArthur describes it like this, "This looks forward to the resurrection of the body and subsequent complete Christlikeness which is the believer's eternal glory." (MacArthur Study Bible - ESV). Yes, we suffer now and it is hard, but is suffering on this earth worth it to experience what Christ has for us in the future? According to Paul, it was. In our present suffering as believers, I believe that God reveals Himself in ways that provide hope and comfort to our hearts. Suffering is for His glory now and points us to the ultimate glory of eternity with Jesus.
Romans 8:18 was and is a big truth for this heart!