Does God Care about Our Suffering?

Does God even care when we suffer? Angie Smith reflects on God's presence during a painful loss.

Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection

  1. What did Angie mean when she said, "My Jesus is the same as he was before I walked in this room."?
  2. How would you explain the difference between talking about suffering versus actually experiencing it?

Reconciled is a great word. I have, um, I have four beautiful daughters now. About five years ago, I was pregnant and went in for a regular ultrasound, and as soon as the ultrasound started, we could just tell something was really wrong. And a few minutes later I heard the words that no mother ever wants to hear: Your child is not going to live. Um... They suggested that we terminate the pregnancy, but I just knew that that wasn't what God had for me, and in fact, when the technician was doing the ultrasound, she said, "I'm going to bring the doctor in, and he's going to confirm what I'm looking at, but it doesn't look good. From what we're seeing, your daughter's not going to survive. You're not, you're not ever going to bring her home, but he's going to come in and he's going to talk to you, so just sit here for a minute." And so my husband and I sat in this dark room, staring at this screen and waiting for the doctor to come in. And when he came in, he said, "Sweetheart, what are you thinking right now?" And I just kept saying over and over and over and over again, My Jesus is the same as he was before I walked in this room. He's the same. And I'll be honest and tell you that there was a lot of me that didn't feel that. The majority of me didn't feel that, but I pushed the words out. And I just said, "I believe he's the same. He has not forsaken me. He hasn't forgotten me. He knows that I'm sitting in this room." And so we carried her, and, um on April 7, 2008, I delivered a little girl who was alive when she was born. Her name was Audrey Caroline, and she lived for two-and-a-half hours. We loved her a lifetime's worth that short amount of time. I watched her get her first bath and little hair cut. But later that night when everyone was gone and it was just my husband and I alone with her as time went on, we knew that we were going to have to call a nurse to come in and take her. Um... And I think up until that point, all the things that I had wrestled with in my faith were much more on paper than they were in the flesh, but I had to hand my daughter to someone and watch her be taken away from me, knowing that I wouldn't see her again this side of heaven, and as I lay in that hospital bed and everything in me wanted just to bang on all the buttons and tell them to bring her back, I really called out to God in a way I never had before, and I just said, "I can't do this and I need you just be here right now. I just need you to hold me." He did. He did. So reconciling is a good word. Um... I don't know that we'll ever do it perfectly, but I will tell you that in that moment I saw, um, a side of God that I have never experienced and have never forgotten since then. Just his faithfulness to one girl in a hospital room who was devastated. And I just really felt that he was there.