We experience more of His love when we suffer within an evil world
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: My grandfather was injured in World War II and lived for decades with great suffering, but said he would do it again for the sake of the nation. Does freedom always demand such great sacrifice? — I.V.
Dear I.V.: At the heart of our universe is a God who suffers in redemptive love. Because of this, we experience more of His love when we suffer within an evil world.
In the foothills of the Himalayas is a beautiful city called Kohima. Some years ago they celebrated 100 years of Christianity. It was there that the Japanese were stopped in their thrust toward India during World War II. Buried in a cemetery are the bodies of hundreds of Indians, British, Americans, and those of other nationalities who made up the Allied force that halted the Japanese advance. At the entrance to the cemetery there is an engraved memorial which says, “They gave their tomorrow that you might have today.”
After difficult years as a missionary to Africa, David Livingstone returned to his native Scotland to address the students at Glasgow University. His body was emaciated by the ravages of illness. One arm hung useless at his side, the result of being mangled by a lion. The core of his message was, “What sustained me amidst the toil, the hardship, and loneliness of my exile? It was Christ’s promise, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end.'”
We, like David Livingstone, may claim the same promise from our Savior and Lord. He does go with us through our sufferings, and He awaits us as we emerge on the other side of the tunnel of testing — into the light of His presence.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)