When grace doesn’t seem like enough

“The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith, and has been in every generation.”
~ JOHN STOTT, The Cross of Christ

I met Glorhy in El Salvador this summer, a gift, a radiant teenager who spoke a little English. We connected. I can’t explain exactly why or how.

We became friends. Even on Facebook. (I asked her, “Cómo se dice “facebook” en español? How do you say “facebook” in Spanish? Her reply, “Facebook.” Go figure.)

glorhyBut there’s more I can’t explain.

Glorhy is sick. It’s cancer. And because superior healthcare isn’t exactly convenient or cheap for her in El Salvador, Glorhy isn’t getting better.

I cry out to God, “Help her, Father. Please?”

I tell Glorhy that it will be okay. I send messages that say things like, “God is strong” and “God will give you courage.”

But I feel like the man sending away the needy with “Go in peace, be warm and filled” (James 2:15-16).

Because I want to promise, “God will heal your body.”
But I can’t say that. At least not in this realm.

To console me in my helplessness, I remind myself of what I know.
• I know our afflictions here are light and momentary compared to eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17).
• I know the needy we will always have with us (Matthew 26:11).  
• I know Jesus didn’t heal everybody in the flesh even when he was here.

But he did heal this one (Luke 4:39) and that one (Matthew 8:3) and this one (Mark 2:11-12).

So why not this one, Lord?
I can’t explain it.

If there’s one thing that gets us, believers and non-believers alike, it’s unexplained suffering.

Who hasn’t asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

I don’t doubt that God is powerful enough to prevent bad things from happening.
I don’t doubt that God is loving enough to want the best for us.

But what I can’t know is how God will choose to use his power to do ultimate good.

And while I also know his grace is enough for me,
what about Glorhy?

Is it enough for her?
She lacks financial resources I have; she lacks spiritual support I have; she lacks a million other things I have.

Her needs appear to outstrip her supplies.

But she doesn’t lack grace.
She doesn’t lack grace.
She doesn’t lack grace.
I must remember.

And I must pray.
• I pray for a healthy soul enclosed in a sick body.
• I pray for the Spirit to engulf her spirit.
• I pray lavish grace floods out her fears.

If his grace is enough for me—for you—I must trust:
it’s enough for her too.

* * *

Glorhy has asked me to ask the church to pray for her.

Will you word a request to the Father today on Glorhy’s behalf?
Thank you, church.
Thank you, Lord.


This ends my reading of The Cross of Christ with Challies.
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