Whoever has been through deep suffering is worth learning from. I’ve been reading Elisabeth Elliot’s book A Path through Suffering, and I recommend it to you. It’s arranged in short, devotional-type chapters, but even though it’s not a difficult read, the theology is rich, and you’ll find a lot of wisdom there from a woman who knows what it means to suffer.
In this excerpt from the book, a woman whose baby was stillborn explains how she could know God loved her, even though she didn’t feel it:
“I could not feel the truth of God’s love for me at that time. What it felt like was that God had dealt me a cruel blow, as with a whip. But underneath all those raging emotions the truth lay. A lifetime of knowing Him had laid a strong foundation that quietly supported me...I knew with my mind and heart what went deeper than my pain—that Jesus showed us once and for all what He is like and what kind of love He has for us, by dying on the Cross. And that is fact. History. Nothing, no circumstance, no matter how hard or painful can change that. He has showed us His character once and for all. Our circumstances are not the window through which we understand His love, but rather we must view our circumstances through His love.”
Even when you can’t feel it, you can see it. Don’t go by your feelings. Look at the cross. There’s solid proof of His love there—not to mention His wisdom and sovereignty. If you missed this excerpt from Derek Rishmawy’s “Gospel-Centered Defense against the Problem of Evil” when I posted it a few months ago, you should read it now. I’ve been thinking about how helpful it is ever since I read it. It’s exactly what we ought to meditate on when we’re going through suffering and can’t feel God’s love.