Bible study, cancer, comfort, grief, suffering, Uncategorized

What Do We Do With Suffering? #WordWednesday (Part 1)


I am an emotional eater.

The other day, I was upset so I drove my minivan through the McDonald’s drive-thru for some comfort food. I never get a Quarter Pounder hamburger, much less the whole meal (French fries and soda included.) But yesterday my heart hurt, so eat I did.

I’m also an emotional cook. Yesterday’s grief resulted in fettuccine Alfredo. We rarely eat pasta at our house, but sometimes you just need noodles and cheese.

When I’m upset, I automatically try to fill the hole in my heart with food.

Before the McDonalds run, I’d driven to Hospice to visit a friend dying of cancer. After ten days without food, my dying friend’s face was gaunt– like a face on a UNICEF publication. Though her body was there, her chest rising and falling methodically with each breath, she lay gone already. She didn’t seem to be in pain anymore. Yet I sat next to suffering. I touched her hand. Told her I loved her. Prayed.

barbed wire

Suffering comes in different packages, but it’s never tied up with a pretty bow. It’s ribbons are barbed wire. They poke and tear, threatening our faith at times, barring our freedom to the other side. Yet ihope. We hold hope.

The Apostle Paul penned hope in ink:

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

What is glory? What does he mean when he writes about the glory that will be revealed in us?

The Greek word for our English “glory” is doxa. This is what editor Zodhiates writes in the Key-Word explaining doxa:

“…It is the state in which one is accorded the fullest enjoyment of the admiration and honor of God–the object of His highest regard and praise…the inheritance of His Kingdom, resurrection, and the enjoyment of fullness, satisfaction, joy, righteousness, and ceaseless delight.”

One day the emptiness caused by suffering will be filled. We will experience the enjoyment of fullness.

Hang on my friends. The glory, the doxa, is coming. We won’t need comfort food to fill us. (Which leaves us empty, unhealthy and 5 pounds heavier.)

His pleasure will.


Digging Deep to Live Fully,




*At 4:40 January 15, 2014 my friend went home. Though we were broken-hearted, we know she is experiencing the glory…the admiration and honor of God, enjoyment of fullness, the inheritance of the kingdom…. She suffers no more. She is free.


  1. Piper Stephens

    This post is timely!!
    Our nephew and his wife are sitting in a hospital waiting room as their 7 month old baby is going through scans, tests and procedures for his recent diagnosis of cancer.
    I have no words for them. It is heartbreaking. Joshua 1:9 is the scripture that is on the back of the fundraiser tshirt I am wearing today. The words Be Brave, Be Courageous are futile in times like these. I know that it is only the Lord that is holding them up today. The only reason that they can breathe. I do not know what the results of today’s scans and tests will be, but I do know that God has a plan in all this and HIS GLORY will be revealed!! Praying God will work miracles in this struggle.
    This situation has brought family and community together to show love and compassion when there is so much strife and hatred in the world. My perspective on a lot of things has changed….. please join their family, friends, and strangers in prayer for Baby Grey. #prayforgrey

    1. Oh Piper! My heart goes out to this family. I will be praying for them. And if it’s any help, the word ‘strong and courageous’ can mean in the Hebrew ‘ attach yourself’ and ‘be alert’. And the word ‘command’ means appointed. It’s a promise to me that if He’s called or appointed us to this place, as we cling to Him and remain alert of the enemy’s schemes, He will get us to the other side. Anyway, much, much love and prayers. #prayforgrey #miraclescanhappen

  2. Maria

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You are an encourager, and I know you inspire so many. We all need a little reminder that God first loved us and sent His son, Jesus, to show us His unconditional Love. He will never leave us or forsake us, even when we transition back to Him.

    1. Thank you for ((your)) encouragement, Maria. I hope you’ll visit again.

  3. Food and life go hand in hand. Thank you for sharing!

    1. They absolutely do! Thanks for reading and your comment. Blessings!

  4. Beautiful post Andy. I’d never have pegged you for an emotional eater, but your writing had me right in the drive-thru lane with you. And although I never met Tawanda, I felt like I was in the room with you. Very touching and I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. What a comfort you must have been to her and her family.

    1. Girl…please pray for me to want to read my Bible rather than head to McDonalds when I’m upset. :) Thank you for your kind words. I have fallen in love with this family. They will always hold a special place in my heart and prayers.

  5. I’ve always liked the word glory. Now I know why. Thanks Andy.Good word.

    1. It is a great word! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m excited to know the meaning of doxa blessed you too.

  6. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend, Andy. My heart hurts for you and you’re in my prayers. Really. You are.

    1. Thank you Heather; thank you for your prayers and letting me know. Blessings to you.

  7. Andy, thanks for sharing your heart in your posts. We can all identify with what you share!

    1. Thank you Sandy. Please let me know if it’s ever TMI. :) Thank you for your always encouraging comments.

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