A Lesson on Suffering

I watched helplessly as my father cringed, coughed and teared while the nurse tried with great difficulty to insert an NGT (Naso-Gastric Tube) through his nostril, down his throat and into his stomach.

Because the NGT kept moving in the wrong direction (out of his mouth rather than down his throat), it had to be inserted and retracted repeatedly for more than an hour, causing much pain and suffering to my father.

I could do nothing but pray and let him squeeze my hand in the hope of alleviating his pain to some degree...

I have read many Christian writings on suffering, understood its purpose and could even write/preach about it but such knowledge is absolutely useless in the face of suffering - I could not bear watching my father suffer and no theological mumbo-jumbo could take away the pain in my heart and stop me from asking "WHY?"...

My father suffered a massive stroke more than a year ago, and had to be fed through an NGT (needs replacement every 2 months) since then. I could not imagine myself enduring such suffering in exchange for a bedridden and passive life; he had to be clothed, bathed, cleaned and could not move half of his body; he could not express himself except through nodding and hand gestures. I would have probably starved myself to death for such apparently meaningless existence...

Though my father can't write nor speak, he had given me a most inspiring and enlightening lesson on the ageless paradox of human suffering and a loving God through his dignified composure.

No one can avoid suffering in life - I just hope I can be as strong as my father...

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17-18)

Comments

James said…
It's ironic, but the best of sermons aren't preached but lived.

Oh, that the eyes and ears of our hearts be opened for us to see and hear them.
msdemmie said…
I think to understand some of life's lessons one has to experience them as opposed to listen or talk about them.

(Found you via Sue@Urban Zoo)

Popular Posts