September 25, 2022
Ben and I were driving our van down the 101 freeway, coming home from yet another chemotherapy session. It was the kind of day many cancer patients would immediately recognize.
I felt nauseous and utterly worn out. As we drove along, with Ben behind the wheel and me and my wheelchair secured in back, we were talking about suffering.
“It’s a splash-over of hell,” I said. “It wakes us up out of our spiritual slumber and prompts us to remember what Christ rescued us from.”
Ben met my eyes in the rearview mirror. I knew he had been suffering through this difficult season right along with me. “Remembering that rescue,” he added, “creates gratitude in our hearts when we think about what Jesus has secured on our behalf.”
It was quiet for a few miles as we turned off at our exit and headed down Cairnloch Street. Pulling into the driveway, Ben shut off the engine and turned to look over at me. “Well then,” he said, “if suffering is a splash-over of hell, what do you think a splash-over of heaven is?”
Good question, Ben! Was a splash-over of heaven one of those easy-breezy bright days when there are no bad medical reports, no pain, no nausea; when everything is going well and life is comfortable and cozy?
No, that didn’t sound right to either of us. What we finally agreed on was that a splash-over of heaven is finding Jesus in your splash-over of hell.
As reluctant as we might have been to admit it at times, some of the best, sweetest, most intimate moments in our walk with Jesus have grown out of some of the darkest, most painful, and frightening times of our lives.
They were moments when the Son of God came striding into our darkness, just as he once walked on the wild waves of the Sea of Galilee, approaching the boat of his friends in the teeth of a terrifying storm.
To find Jesus in your hell, to find him walking across the waves of your storm in the night with his hand outstretched, is a taste of heaven.
Somehow in the midst of your suffering, the Son of God beckons you into the inner sanctum of his own suffering—a place of mystery and privilege you will never forget. I have suffered, yes. But I wouldn’t trade places with anybody in the world to be this close with Jesus.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ […]
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Have you experienced a splash-over of hell in your life? Do you find yourself in a place of pressure, anxiety, disappointment, or pain that you never anticipated and don’t know how you will survive, let alone handle?
Just remember that, as difficult as it may seem to believe, there may be a splash-over of heaven on the heels of your heartache. No matter the situation or circumstance, the presence of Jesus changes everything.
Daily Devotional | Daily Devotional | Daily Devotional