A Great Day to be Alive

great-day-to-be-alive

When you’re living a life of suffering with no end in sight, it’s hard to feel alive. The suffering sucks the life out of you so that you have to rely on God to get through your daily tasks. Strangely, during the past three years of non-stop suffering, I have accomplished more for God’s kingdom than all the rest of my life combined. Maybe it’s because God’s power is perfected in weakness, and the only way to be filled with His power is to surrender when we have nothing left.

This is one reason why suffering is something to rejoice in the midst of, not for the pain itself, but for the results it brings. Endurance and the power of God are only doled out to those who tenaciously cling to God to the death. Or to the living death, which is worse than death because in heaven at least Christ would wipe away every tear from our eyes and there would be no more suffering.

Job felt that way. He sat in the ashes, wailing in horror and sadness, wondering why God had seemingly abandoned him. Why was he born just to suffer?

“It is one thing to bear a sudden tragedy. It is quite another to suffer its pain for weeks and months and even years afterward.” – John Piper

God is full of endless delights, either as we worship Him through song in the midst of suffering to feel His tangible presence, or in His turning events around suddenly in a single day. With Job, God showed up and not only healed him but gave him back twice as much as he had before. He lived the rest of his life in peace and joy, having experienced God in a way few have.

And God was vindicated. Satan lost. God showed Satan that there are some of us—including me—that love God not for what He can give to us but for who He is. He will make all things right in the end and not a single tear goes unnoticed by God. All of our days are written in a book (Psalm 139:16), and if we suffer well, the book that has our name on it in the library of heaven will forever be a slap in Satan’s face that God was worthy to serve even when circumstances appeared to be dark with no way out.

cupcake-stand

So when my daughter walked across a parking lot the other day, she exclaimed with arms extended in the sunshine, “Look, Mom! It’s a great day to be alive!” I stopped and looked at her.

“I guess it is!” I laughed. I remembered a cupcake stand I saw at the mall that my daughter had never seen. I knew she would love the cupcake display, so I asked her, “Do you want to get a cupcake?”

“Sure, Mom!” she said as she rolled down the windows in the car, her hair flying in all directions. I rolled down my own window and shouted, “It’s great to be alive. Woohoo! We’re really living it up today!”

car-wash

After choosing a cupcake and eating it, we drove to the car wash. My daughter wanted to snap selfies during the car wash and told me what a great day she had when we got home.

I guess my point is that you can still feel alive even in a seemingly hopeless situation. With God all things are possible. Even though we might suffer longer than we would prefer, God is bringing about something beautiful out of our tragedy that will be read by generations to come. Don’t lose hope.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV

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26 Responses to “A Great Day to be Alive”

  1. Andrea says:

    I think all of us have SO much to be thanking God for every day!

    • Susan says:

      When we focus on what we do have, and praise God for it, often our suffering is at least partially alleviated. I have learned to be content in any circumstance, since I don’t care about objects; I don’t care if I’m poor or rich. But a life of emotional suffering is sometimes too much to bear, even when you are thankful.

  2. Melissa says:

    This is such an awesome reminder and reinforcement as I’m clinging to God to help me seek joy in the midst of the pain and suffering I experience all around me. I am working to be more present and enjoy all of the little things that are constantly gifts from God!

    • Susan says:

      It must be difficult to be a therapist and take in the emotional pain of the people that you are helping. Finding the simple joys in life and focusing on the good can help, I suppose.

  3. Tiffany says:

    A good reminder for the days it’s hard to rejoice. Personally, I struggle with anxiety. There are good days – when I am myself and love life and the Lord… then there are bad days – days I sort of disappear… when I need reminders to praise Him.

  4. Alice Mills says:

    Such a wonderful moment. You are such a good mom for celebrating with your daughter!

  5. Julie says:

    I think you’re right, we can always find blessings even in the worst of times! What a sweet day of memories you made with your daughter!

    • Susan says:

      During the worst of times is when we most need to remember how God has come through in the past, and that He will also bring us through our current trial.

  6. MJ says:

    I love this! I’m so happy you are able to see the positive in the midst of this trying time. It’s so hard to have that mindset and I applaud you! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Erin says:

    “This is one reason why suffering is something to rejoice in the midst of, not for the pain itself, but for the results it brings.” This is so true. Our rejoicing in the midst of our pain can turn our situation around.

  8. Donna Miller says:

    It really is hard to rejoice in the midst of suffering but God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. I love this Scripture: “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy” Psalm 126:5 ❤

  9. Heather Hart says:

    Oh, Susan. This post brought me to tears. It was just what I needed to read today. Your daughter sounds like a ray of sunshine.

  10. Dewi says:

    Thank you for this post! I can certainly relate. I went through some devastating losses and felt like I had a dagger in my heart for months, actually for a few years! I am SO incredibly grateful for how the Father loved me back to life! Thank you for sharing! Bless you!

    • Susan says:

      “A dagger in my heart” is a really good description for suffering. God is near to the brokenhearted. Hopefully you have gotten your life back!

  11. Ann (Neethu) says:

    Great ! Yes indeed we need to hold into His grace through the sorrow and the pain. The joy set before us is great.

  12. I try to awake each day and remember that everyday I wake up is a gift. It is a great day to be alive!

    • Susan says:

      Each day doesn’t feel like a gift when you are suffering, but if you can see the good things that happen in your day, you can praise God even on days with suffering.

  13. Paul Zunker says:

    What a great post Susan! I relate to you in a lot of ways. I love what you said about not loving God for what He can do for us, but just for who He is and how much He loves us. That’s a way of thinking that will transform oyr lives! Well written.

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