From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Dr. Graham:
With all the medical advances that have been made, it is shocking to see how helpless the world was when COVID-19 first hit. While some treatments have been successful, there is still the question of all the other catastrophic illnesses that people face.
Dear C.S.: We are indebted to modern medical science for the tremendous strides made in finding cures for so many diseases and harnessing others. Through dedicated efforts, progress is being made daily in the discovery of new ways of relieving the physical sufferings of mankind. Many lives have been saved and are now being sustained as a result of such scientific advances.
And yet pain is still with us. Many people know the reality of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, birth defects, and auto injuries. Many have been bedridden and racked with pain for years. Some are shocked by the discovery of a friend’s or relative’s terminal illness. There are those facing the prospect of death.
Some suffering comes as a natural result of the deterioration of the body.
Some forms of physical suffering are inflicted upon us by others. Our physical sufferings express a great truth. As C.S. Lewis cogently penned, “Pain… plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.” The truth is this—man’s body is mortal, temporal. Man must look beyond himself to find immortality.
Suffering is one of God’s ways of speaking to us, of awakening us to our need of Him, and calling us to Himself. To quote C.S. Lewis again, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” If our suffering leads us to God, it has become a blessed and precious friend.