Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. —Romans 5:1–5
God tells us that suffering isn’t pointless.
Pastor and author Randy Alcorn tells this story about the late Professor Howard Hendricks from Dallas Theological Seminary :
Howard Hendricks tells of visiting a leprosy center in India. The morning he arrived, the residents were gathered for a praise service. One of the women with leprosy hobbled to the platform. Hendricks said that even though she was partially blind and badly disfigured, she was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen.
Raising both of her nearly fingerless hands toward Heaven, she said in a clear voice, “I want to praise God that I am a leper because it was through my leprosy that I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior. And I would rather be a leper who knows Christ than be completely whole and a stranger to His grace.”
WOW! I am practically speechless. Truly we are called to know and experience Jesus through our sufferings
Although my suffering doesn't measure to the degree of leprosy, like that woman - during my life I have encountered Jesus in the sweetest ways and moments through personal suffering and hardship. Jesus meets us most intimately in the midst of our pain.
This Saturday at team from CMDA Atlanta and others are going to serve in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. During our time there, we are going to meet many who are suffering in Haiti. Many who are still suffering from the deep wounds and scars from their many years of being ruled by cruel political dictators as well as the devastation of the earthquake over 5 years ago. People are still suffering from those scars, yet we are no only going to Haiti to care for people's physical wounds and diseases but also spiritually wounded people as well.
In the middle of the Haitian's pain, God is using it to open up hearts to hear and receive the love of Jesus. Medicine is our lead foot in giving us the opportunity to share that hope. May God do an incredible Kingdom work in the community of Tokio within Port-au-Prince and throughout Haiti!