“When I was in pain”

Craig Groeschel’s 78-year old grandmother was living alone when she had a stroke and fell in her bathroom.

She was paralyzed.
And alone.
For three days.
On a cold, hard bathroom floor.

A neighbour eventually checked in on her and called an ambulance. For the next 6 months she was under the constant care of doctors until she died.

As you can imagine, Craig really struggled with this. Where was the silver lining? How could any good come out of this?

Toward the end of his grandmother’s life, he asked her what she had thought about while lying on the bathroom floor. Here’s what she said:

“I’ve never been closer to God my whole life than when I was in pain.”

When it comes to our own lives, we often bump into painful experiences—or crash into them!—and ask, “Why would God let this happen?”

That’s a big question, and I don’t want to dismiss it. But today I think we can learn something from Craig’s grandmother.

If we’re open to the possibility, difficult experiences can draw us closer to God—not push us farther away.

Those moments are when we’re brutally aware of our dependence on him. Those moments are when the illusion of our own control and self-sufficiency is shattered into a thousand irreparable bits. Those moments are when our prayers are raw, and our trust is stretched.

Writing to Christians in ancient Rome, Paul had an incredible outlook, that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…” (Romans 5:3-4, ESV).

Don’t let difficult experiences crucify your faith. If you’re open, God can use them to resurrect a faith that has more endurance, character and hope.

By Matthew Ruttan

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