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2012-06-07 digital edition

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2012-06-07 / Church

THEY SAID IT

(Life Lessons from Hospice Patients)

When is This Going to be Over?

Samuel had been active all his life. He’d worked at the same job for over 30 years, then retired and began farming. He was in constant motion.

He got dizzy one day out in the field. Headaches followed. Tests revealed an inoperable brain tumor.

Ten months later, Samuel lay in a hospital bed in his living room. Plagued by pain, he whispered, “When is this going to be over?”

“I don’t know, Samuel,” I responded. “But Jesus is right here. He knows all about pain.”

I don’t have an answer for suffering, but I believe that God knows, is concerned, and that He never, ever wastes pain.

In the Old Testament, Job lost all ten of his children and his possessions in a single day. Later, he lost his health and was in chronic pain. Job didn’t bring this on himself. God says of him, “I have no one like Job, who is upright. . .”

Three friends come to comfort Job. Stunned, they become so uncomfortable with Job’s agony that they try to explain it. They judge him. Even Job’s friends prove to be no help.

Yet, Job said things like, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord,” and “I know that my Redeemer lives, and I will see Him…”

Wow.

Job allowed his anguish to expand his view of God, not shrink it. He embraced suffering as an opportunity. He discovered God was bigger, better than he thought.

How big is our God?

The answer might make all the difference.

Gary Roe is the Chaplain of Southern Care Hospice and is interim Minister at First Baptist Church in Lexington

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