On Suffering

Austin David Meek had a profound impact on my life today.  I walked away from our conversation with a new perspective on the joy of life, a different understanding of God’s purpose, and deep desire to let loose all the worldly ties that are but ashes & shadow in comparison to the fulfilled, victorious life in Him. The love that I already so freely lavish on my children was deepened, as I left speechless from my conversation with Austin.

And yet, not a word was spoken by Austin. In fact, I never met him and will never have the opportunity to meet him on this side of Heaven. Austin Meek was born with many complications and lived for 45 precious days before heading back to his true home. In that time, God ordained so much of his life to speak to me & many others in friends, family, & strangers.  The memorial service was today.

This brought to mind the suffering that his parents must have felt during Austin’s incredible bittersweet 45 day journey with us. And I feel this journey was mirrored thousands of years before in Lamentations. Within chapter 3 there is a powerful juxtaposition of suffering & joy, similar to the one that we felt (and even more so Austin’s family felt). In one breath, the author speaks of such sorrows as:

  • God has walled me in so that I can not escape. v. 7
  • He has made my chains heavy. v. 7
  • He turned aside my steps and tore me to pieces. He has made me desolate. v. 11
  • God filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood. v.15
  • My endurance has perished. So has my hope in the Lord. v. 18
God ordained these words. He allowed these thoughts and emotions to be captured so that we would know in our suffering that He gets it. Our feelings and emotions are not trifle things to be overcome. We don’t have to “man up”.  No! We are allowed to grieve reader … to cry, to suffer and question. Because in the end, our Father sustains us to endure the trials. In the very next breath, the author of Lamentations speaks these words:
  • This I call to mind and my hope is restored. v. 21
  • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end. v. 22
  • They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. v. 23
  • The Lord is my portion and therefore I will hope in Him. v. 24
  • The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. v. 25
What a beautiful portrayal of our journey with Austin. I am looking forward to the day that I actually get to meet the little guy and thank Him for being a vessel for God’s truth. 
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One thought on “On Suffering

  1. I was touched in a similar way by a child named Elliot. He lived 99 days. I never even met his parents, just heard their story of heartache and thankfulness with a new reverence for the God who gives and takes away.

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