From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Suffering affects all kinds and classes of individuals every day. Suffering in scores of forms can be found all around us. One has only to go to the poor in the cities, the hospitals, or the homes where family life has tragically broken in two. Talk to the millions of children who are living with only one parent, or no parent. Talk to the tens of thousands of patients who have been notified that they have cancer or heart disease.
Talk to the victims of the muggings, rapes, and other crimes that go on daily in almost every city. Go to the prisons and talk to the prisoners who are paying the bitter price of their wrongdoing, and even some who perhaps have been falsely accused. Talk to pastors whose hearts are breaking because members of their congregations profess one thing and live another. The whole world is crying for help.
Yet there are many people—some whose names are known well—who have been overcomers. Joni Eareckson Tada is one such woman whose smile and outlook on life has touched millions. Confined to a wheelchair after a diving accident, she is one of the most vibrant human beings known to the world. Her testimony to what the Lord has done for her, in her, and through her is amazing and humbling.
She emerged from the fire with a broad and perceptive insight into not only the meaning of suffering, but also into all the great truths that bear on the subject. She has helped so many grasp the practical and wide-ranging truth of who God is and what He is doing in the world. Only through Christ can we endure the deepest suffering and emerge stronger.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)