I know that scripture comforts many, however, how do you get past the “Why does God put this burden on me/my son/my husband?”. My 11 year old son has dx of ADHD and bipolar, and my husband was diagnosed at age 36 with bipolar which reared itself after a bout with mono. There was always a family history of mood disorders, but he showed no symptoms until he became sick with the immune disease. It has been devastating and debilitating for my husband, and so difficult for my son and our family. I ask seriously, how do you get to that comfort place with God? I am so angry that this mood disorders rule my life now. Why would my God do this to me? to us?
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In those feelings, I continued to pray to God and read His word. Then I came to the realization that God doesn’t want us to suffer, He didn’t make this happen to us. We live in an imperfect world. This is not heaven. So there will be disease, there will be hardships and there will be death. God even tells us in the bible that we will suffer trials in this life.
Besides the whole “free will” aspect, I’ve read that God allows trials to happen to sharpen our faith. Our faith grows deeper when we’re going through trials. I read that fruit grows best in the “valleys” (the hard times in life), not the “mountaintops” (where everything is going well). Our greatest character development takes place when we take what we’ve learned on the mountaintop and put it into practice in the valley.
You can also look at it this way, just like the muscles in our bodies, they don’t become stronger unless they’re tested and challenged. By lifting heavier weights, our muscles are pushed to their limits and thus respond by growing bigger and stronger. I think our faith is the same way, you become stronger in faith when your faith is tested, when you’re challenged and brought to your knees and turn your life over to God. I think it’s when life is so overwhelming, when we feel we can’t stand on our own that we’re most likely to let go of trying to control it all and learn to lean on God. It’s how we learn to have faith.
My pastor’s son (age 5) went through chemo when he was being treated for leukemia. My pastor said that it was in the cancer ward that the scriptures came to life for him like never before. It was in his suffering that he found new meaning in the scriptures he’s read his whole life.
I also believe trials help us to comfort others. I think when we suffer deeply, we can find the greatest comfort from God, then when we’re standing once again, we can be great comfort to those around us.
I can share that I’ve seen this in my own life. When my brother-in-law died of cancer at 27 yrs old. I arrived to his home where he had just passed away and saw my mother-in-law and father-in-law standing up with incredible strength. I myself, not a Christian at the time was overcome, I felt like I couldn’t breath I was so upset over this loss, yet his parents comforted me in their strength because they were filled with God’s comfort. I will never forget this moment of God giving strength and comfort when it’s needed most.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” 2 Corinthians: 1:4
I also hope that this blog may be helping others, that the trials my family faces through my son’s illness may reach someone out there and give them comfort. I’ve been growing spiritually myself by going through these challenges. I’m changing as a person, hopefully for the better. I can see my middle son becoming a child of great faith and compassion because of all he’s gone through with his brother. I know other good things will come out of this, unfortunately it sometimes takes a lifetime to see it. I just have faith that God will use these trials for good.
See my post Spiritually Speaking:
I also have a unique perspective with so many families around me suffering with a child fighting an illness or disorder. In my small community alone, we have seen multiple cases of cancer, autism, lupus, bipolar disorder and other diseases in our young children. This perspective has made me realize that God is not singling me out, He’s not out to punish my family, but rather this is “life.” Most people will go through a trial of some sort, I don’t think we can escape life without it. I’m sorry that this is my son’s journey in life, but I feel empowered today to do the best I can to help him have the best life possible. I think a part of me likes to believe that God chose me to be my son’s mommy because God knew that I could do it well.
I really believe that God hasn’t abandoned me and He didn’t cause this to happen, He is by my side, He is holding me up. He gives me strength to keep fighting for my son, to forgive my son when he hurts me and to have hope for my son’s future.
I’m closest to God when my suffering is greatest, I can’t raise my son without him. I can’t do this on my own.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
I honestly have to share that I was brought to tears when I read your question. First, because I know the place of pain that you’re coming from and second, I know that I too may find myself asking those same questions again.
I also was feeling very inadequate in answering one of the deepest spiritual questions we may have in our life and I know that I can’t possibly give you a complete answer that will speak to you. I only hope that I’m able to share my heart, my journey and maybe you’ll find some piece of truth that will begin to answer your question.
I know that you’re hurting, I know that you may not see comfort in this moment, but lean on God, seek him, I know in my heart He is there with open arms.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
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Thank you “Anonymous” for reaching out!