I speak for Mary and I when I say that we weren't shocked by this new trial. Grieved, but not shocked. We should expect sufferings to multiply. Our entire christian experience is marked by suffering- some more severe than others - and our suffering is magnified by our knowledge of the glory that waits for us beyond this earth.
I've been struck many times over the past two weeks by Steve and Ian. Father and son. Two recipients of severe affliction. No one knows Ian's sufferings now as well as his father. Steve now shares in the sufferings of his son.
We aren't afraid of death, but we don't want Steve to leave. Not yet. We believe that god could heal steve, and god could heal Ian. But he might not. There is no promise in the bible that he will or that he has to. And we have to be ok with that.