I previously posted about some of the blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon our family since Bobby was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
Maybe the greatest surprise to us is that Bobby's cancer has turned out to be a blessing itself.
The primary blessing has been God's gift of His presence throughout this ordeal. Especially during the months of chemotherapy, while we watched our son shrivel up into a much weaker child physically and emotionally, God was faithful to cause us to sense His presence very clearly. Even when we were not necessarily thinking about Him, He would give us great comfort. It is hard to explain. For example, we rarely felt as bad about things as it seemed like we should have considering the circumstances. God's grace is great and consistent.
Why should I be surprised? Scripture makes it clear as to how we should respond during times of trial. Romans 5:3-5 says, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." James 1:2-3 tells us, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."
So Paul and James make it clear that sufferings and trials lead to hope and steadfastness. What are we to make of this? It seems clear that when we go through trials, we grow spiritually if we look to Christ to sustain us. He alone provides strength for the current sufferings and makes us remember that we need to keep an eternal perspective in the midst of times of difficulty.