The Fog of Suffering

This post is for anyone who has watched someone struggle with cancer, or for anyone who suffers.

Questions about Suffering

I have asked a million questions as my friend, Cindy, faces lung cancer. As she’s recovered from a brain tumor. As she’s dealt with the loss of her right leg and most of her right arm. As she endured blood clots. As she endured horrendous pain. All of this in the last 90 days.

Thus, I’ve prayed for her. Only to whine. And then, I cry. And yes, I’ve prayed again. I’ve struggled with my emotions, which can be all over the place, and that’s why I’ve felt like I’m in a fog on certain days.

Today as I was reading, I came across the story of Florence Chadwick who swam channels and broke records. At the age of 34, on July 4, 1952, she attempted to swim the Catalina Channel, a 21-mile journey, from Catalina Island to Palos Verde on the California coast.

Being from California, I’ve ridden in boats in that channel, but not once, have I ever swam in shark infested waters.

On the day Florence took off, the water was ice-cold, and the fog so thick, she could hardly see her crew in the boats near her. They even shot at sharks that day to keep them from her.

After more than 15 hours, with only a half mile to go, she asked to be taken from the water. She told a reporter, “… if I could have seen land I know I could have made it.”

When the Fog Stays We can Complete the Swim

But get this, two months later, she took off in the waters again, the fog just as dense, and this time she broke a 27-year-old record by more than two hours and became the first woman ever to complete the swim.

When I think of our lives here on earth, I’m reminded of heaven, of living with a resurrected body with Jesus forever! Where there’s no more cancer! Where we live with our King! Where we worship Him!

Of course, I pray for my friend’s healing, and I’ve asked many to join me in those prayers. Even today, as I took to the streets after Church under the Bridge, I handed out scripture cards with my name on them, and with Cindy’s name.

That’s when a man who Cindy measured his feet for the boots he now wears, said, “Tell Ms. Cindy, her faith is lifting us up. She’s so nice. She’s encouraged us all, as you share her story.”

That’s when the fog lifted, when all things became clear, and when I found myself thinking about seeing Christ on the shoreline in heaven. And guess what? He’s smiling at me, and He’s standing with

His arm around Cindy. (Or anyone you’ve lost or feel like you’re losing if they belong to Him.) And He’s saying, “She my child. I have her.”

Then, I imagine how I’d fall to my knees to praise Him, only for Jesus to pull me up and embrace me.

And that’s when I’d hear Cindy say, “I’m fine. It’ll be ok. I’m with Jesus.”

The Fog Lifts as the Focus Returns

So, whether, Jesus invites her to heaven during this illness or if she stays with us for years to come; may I have faith like hers. And may I swim in obedience to Christ! Even in the fog! Because our Savior is waiting with His arms wide open to love us, to redeem us, to save us! And to hold us!

“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

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