Dec 15, 2009

A (Very) Short List of What Steve Taught Me About Suffering....

1. God is sovereign

2. Joy in God and sorrow are two different things and can Biblically co-exist.

3. I shouldn't discount my emotions- they are God-given and life would be so boring without them. I also shouldn't put too much stake in them either, since they change as easily as the wind.

4. Ian's afflication may or may not be a form of discipline from God. This is not something that we should dwell on. We probably won't know until heaven anyway. And what does it matter? No matter why it came to us, we should not change our response. And even if it is discipline, how does my suffering compare to hell, which is the ultimate discipline and punishment that I deserve? Knowing that doesn't change sadness, but it should affect my view of the gospel.

5. Affliction will change everything about our lives- the way we think, decisions that we make, how we approach our relationships.

6. The cause and outcome of our suffering is not based solely on us. We are called to respond in faith, but God is not waiting on us to muster enough faith, and then plans on healing Ian as a result. If that is what we believed, we would've been completely rattled by Steve's death. Steve always taught us- even through his own cancer- that trying to believe ourselves into health makes us too big and God too small. God doesn't need anything from us to be able to heal and perform miracles.

7. God may not heal, like He didn't with Steve, and we have to be ok with that.

8. God will provide.

9. Grief cannot be solved through pat answers or other "brain trauma and cancer stories." Grief will always follow us because our lives will never be the same. Affliction is guaranteed- earthly prosperity is not.

10. This will all make sense in heaven.

So Steve gets it now.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. And we miss him like crazy. I've only known Steve for less than five years. For three of those, he held all of our hands as he walked us through our suffering. Now I'm trying to do it without him.

Thank you for praying.



Vicki said...

Oh thank you for sharing that Larissa... I could hear Steve talking in those words you shared... I really miss him. God gave Steve such wisdom. He gave him heavenly eyes. Steve was able to see beyond the distractions of this world to the glory waiting for us...

I felt like Steve was my Moses. I was going through the wilderness complaining about this or that and he would stop me and say, "Look, over there, if you look real close you can see it... all you will ever need... it is just ahead... only a little further... hang in there... we are so close..."

Anonymous said...

Oh, Larissa!
You are so wise beyond your years.
This post pulls at my heart strings.
Yes, you are walking without Steve now, but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother...even a Christian brother. And that Friend will never leave us or forsake us, as you know so well.

Still Praying.

Mary Ann K.

Aimee said...

Some people say that life is better with Jesus--while that is somewhat true, it is truer that death is better with Jesus. Whenever we think we're having a hard time, my Dad reads us the passage in James about "momentary light affliction". If that's what y'all are going through, then I cannot fathom how wonderful Heaven must be.

I still pray for Ian and for your whole family in the loss of Steve. I cannot say that I know how you must feel, but I know that Jesus does. Always in Christ, Aimee in Texas.

Anonymous said...

so encouraged by your perseverance through suffering. thank you for blessing my heart today~

Joanne Perry said...

Thinking of Mary and all of the family during this season of not only holidays but change. Our lives adjust to a new "normal" when something happens to change our normal.

Thank you Lord for the years we had with Steve and the gift of his life and wisdom that he left for us to ponder.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful reminders for us all.
Thanks for sharing.
Wendy in MD

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing those insights. They helped me today as I struggled with my daughter.

We are still praying for all of you.

Lisa said...

You are not alone, Larissa! And, look at the beauty of faith emerging through your suffering!

Sue said...

My how this post touched me. I, like Vicki, could hear Steve talking. Such a wise man. I miss him too. Thanks for sharing.

Sue Minich

Anonymous said...

Hi, Larissa and Ian. Three years ago today we graduated from IUP... And I can still see you two in the front of Beard Auditorium giving your sales presentation on scrapbooking materials in Dr. Wilson's class! I remember how Ian was out of his element trying to 'sell' the product but used humor to make it work and get through it. Funny what the mind remembers... Today I'm praying that great sense of humor will get through this, too... and that someday you both will be able to do everything you've ever wanted.

Katie Klinsky

babydoc said...

I 'met' Steve when I started reading this blog, some 2 or more years ago. I miss him too.

Thank you for finding the courage to continue posting.

Liz, UK

Anonymous said...

I didnn't know Steve, but he taught much of this to many others through this blog. I cannot sufficiently express how your trials and Biblical responses have helped us in our own challenges and growing closer to God these last few years. Our prayers continue for Ian and the entire family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this wisdom, Larissa. May the Lord continue to bless you and Ian and both your families, and may he give you joy, health, and continued faith.

Anonymous said...

words to ponder long and hard on. they are filled with faith and encouragement for all seasons. thanks for posting.

may your Christmas season be richer and sweeter because of these truths.

Anonymous said...

thank you. gigi

Anonymous said...

Missing Steve like Crazy – that is me. Larissa took the words out of my mouth and posted them here. I was talking to my wife about similar issue today. My wife and daughter are leaving me for a couple of weeks. They do the same thing every year and I complete working around the house and finish home improvement projects during their absence. This year, I have no desire to do any of that. Reason – I miss Steve like crazy.
Steve used to guide and help me through all my home improvement projects. To say it was delight to work with him is an understatement. Please help me and put in your own words, but Steve was more than delightful to deal with. Steve was a friend, a mentor, a good neighbor and yes a very dear brother to me.
I know that I said it before, I miss Steve like crazy, and I long very much to seeing him in the life after. Thanks again Larissa for your inspiring messages. Will keep praying.

Holly said...

praying for your family

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing this.
sara b. said...

God has made you wise through suffering...there is much to learn from your perspective, and great reward for your trust..praying for all of you.