some spoken words I love from Dr. Bill Stuntz . . .

"Every piece of pain and discomfort I feel, Jesus felt too. And infinitely worse besides. And that fact, I believe, changes everything for me. I think it's part of this world's deep magic. When the one man—who is so supremely beautiful that his existence defines beauty—when that one man took on himself all the worst ugliness this world has to offer, he changed forever what it means to live in the midst of that ugliness, to live in the midst of pain and loss and hardship. My disease may be ugly—I think it's supremely ugly—but I am not, and thanks be to God for that. . . .He elevates all he touches and he has touched ultimate suffering and he has also touched me.

There are curses in this life, ugly ones. I've experience some, and others here have experienced others and I'm sure there are many who have experienced worse than I have. It's a fallen world, we should expect no different. But we must never forget that in the midst of those curses, standing with us in those curses, is the God who longs to redeem and restore and remember and wrap you in his arms. It lends dignity, honor, and even a little beauty."

. . . answering the question "Your life is ending sooner than you must have expected. 
Are
you
pleased
with
the
life
you
lived. . . ?"




"No. 

I'm not displeased in the sense that I never got to see that or do this or enjoy something else.  I have almost none of those feelings.  I am utterly satisfied with my life in those terms.  I have gotten many more good things than I could deserve in any conceivable way.  I have been incredibly more blessed, along multiple dimensions, than I would have imagined when I was young.  In that sense, I am perfectly pleased with my life.

What I am displeased with is my own living of life.  I feel an acute sense that I ought to have done better with the circumstances I was given.  This is one of the reasons why it cut me so deeply when people suggested that suffering is God's discipline—because I find it so very, very easy to believe in a God who is profoundly disappointed in me. 

It seems utterly natural to believe in the Disappointed God, because I myself am disappointed.  He must be even more disappointed, I think, because his standards are so much higher than mine.  How could he not be disappointed?  That makes complete sense to me.

It's the other God, the God who does not experience that kind of disappointment, the God who sees me the way that Prodigal Son's father saw him—that is the harder God for me to believe in.  It takes work for me to believe in that God."

Job 14:15-16
"You will call I and I will answer, you will long for the creature your hands have made. Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin."