article

Finding God’s Goodness in the Midst of Pain, 3 Foundational Truths

Share:

Dugan Sherbondy and his family have been through a trying and painful time lately. His response to that pain is truly inspirational. See for yourself.


author

In the midst of pain and hurt God is still there. Dugan Sherbondy’s daughter Eva was in a freak golf cart accident that traumatically left her brain-injured at only 7-years-old. The accident left their daughter severely disabled. Dugan and his wife Lindsay persevered through the tragedy and supported Eva’s rehabilitation as loving parents.

On a recent vacation to Mexico hardship struck again. Lindsey was rushed to the hospital after what seemed like an infection in her kidney started to spread to other areas of her body. Dugan posted her progress on social media where the couple’s audience was disheartened for Dugan and Lindsey as they have faced and survived so much with Eva already. Many questioned God‘s hand in the situation and how he could possibly let this happen to a family that has suffered so much. This was Dugan’s response:

“Get ready for a longer post, folks. I got stuff to say.”

“First things first: Most of Lindsay’s numbers are looking better, which just a couple exceptions. The incredible teams of doctors, nurses and specialists are doing an amazing job loving her, healing her and keeping a close watch on her.”

“Aside from that, I don’t have any major updates but will definitely post them as they happen.”

View this post on Instagram

Get ready for a longer post, folks. I got stuff to say. First things first: Most of Lindsay’s numbers are looking better, which just a couple exceptions. The incredible teams of doctors, nurses, and specialists are doing an amazing job loving her, healing her, and keeping a close watch on her. Aside from that, I don’t have any major updates, but will definitely post them as they happen. On another note, I do want to say a few things, based on so many of the comments on social media: First – I cannot and will not ever begin to thank those of you enough for all the messages of encouragement, prayer, and healing. They fill me up and help my faith in ways you can’t imagine. Second – To those of you claiming I should use this experience as evidence God is not real or good, I want to say three things in response: 1). My personal, subjective pain is not a determining factor to God’s existence or presence. The Bible is literally filled with stories of women and men who experienced incredible pain and difficulty, while also declaring God’s presence and glory through their lives. In fact, the truth that I can see God and see Him working while in this kind of pain, actually REVEALS His presence in ways that very few other things could. Jesus Himself said life would be painful for all of us at times (John 16:33). The difference is simply that we don’t have to go through those seasons of pain alone because He promises to never leave us (regardless of circumstance or emotion). 2). As lovingly as I can say this, you don’t get to use my pain to further evidence your disbelief in God. You don’t have the right to lose faith in God because of my tragedy. If anyone had the right to do that, I do. But I’m not doing that. If I lose faith, justifiably, then you can join me. But if I, the person who this pain is happening to, don’t lose faith in God because of that pain, it should not lessen your faith. (Keep reading in comments)

A post shared by Dugan Sherbondy (@dugansherbondy) on

“On another note, I do want to say a few things, based on so many of the comments on social media.”

“First—I cannot and will not ever begin to thank those of you enough for all the messages of encouragement, prayer, and healing. They fill me up and help my faith in ways you can’t imagine.”

“Second—To those of you claiming I should use this experience as evidence God is not real or good. I want to say three things in response.”

1. “My personal, subjective pain is not a determining factor to God’s existence or presence.”

“The Bible is literally filled with stories of women and men who experienced incredible pain and difficulty, while also declaring God’s presence and glory through their lives. In fact, the truth that I can see God and see Him working while in this kind of pain, actually REVEALS His presence in ways that very few other things could. Jesus Himself said life would be painful for all of us at times (John 16:33). The difference is simply that we don’t have to go through those seasons of pain alone because He promises to never leave us (regardless of circumstance or emotion).”

2. “As lovingly as I can say this, you don’t get to use my pain to further evidence your disbelief in God.”

“You don’t have the right to lose faith in God because of my tragedy. If anyone had the right to do that, I do. But I’m not doing that. If I lose faith, justifiably, then you can join me. But if I, the person who this pain is happening to, don’t lose faith in God because of that pain, it should not lessen your faith.”

“I apologize for writing so much, but for whatever all that is worth, I pray that those of you unsure about God or His existence or presence or goodness or promises, can see Him through what we’re going through. And if you need other examples, see Job, Paul or Esther to see how present and good God can be in awful situations. And also how God is always faithful with blessing and celebration in the long run.”

“This situation is so awful and overwhelming, but I’m seeing God show up in so many miraculous ways that it is not making me question His realness or presence at all. Yes I have questions, yes I have anger, yes I’m confused, yes I’m frustrated, yes I have doubts. But this isn’t diminishing my belief in God, if anything, it’s increasing my awareness of how much I need Him.”

3. “Finally, in regards to God being good. I’m very aware that God’s goodness is not necessarily equal to me experiencing pleasure. In fact, I’d argue that many times my pain is part of God’s long-term goodness for me and my family.”

“As an example, a parent forcing their child to get a shot, while painful, is ultimately because of their deep love for that child and desire for their long-term good. The child experiencing the pain of the needle might not understand why their parent would make/allow that to happen, but as they grow up they’ll gain more understanding and see it was for their benefit. I believe it’s the same with God. I don’t know what the next 20 minutes or 20 years will hold. But, based on my faith and knowledge of God being my heavenly Father, I can trust that this current pain is for mine and Lindsay’s and Eva’s and Phoenix’s ultimate good, even if I can’t feel or see it right now.”

“God’s promises are: ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28). ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29:11). ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him’ (Psalm 34:8).”

View this post on Instagram

Happy Thanksgiving from us! In the midst of the most difficult season of my life so far, I’m still finding myself deeply grateful for so much. * My amazing wife * My beautiful son * My wonderful daughter * Our incredible friends * All the good God has brought through Eva’s injury * The outpouring of prayers, support, gifts, messages, and so much more * Our home * Our cars * Insurance (well, for the most part) * The undeniable peace and strength I’ve experienced during this season * A God who allows me to be brutally honest with Him even when it comes to my anger, confusion, and doubt * Our church * Lindsay’s business partners who are working hard so she doesn’t have to * Lucy * The endless truth of Scripture that (while I’m learning I don’t fully understand it all) continues to give me truth and hope * Netflix * Spotify * Buffalo Wild Wings * Amazing hospitals, doctors, surgeons, nurses, and therapists * Our neighborhood And the list could go on and on. So this year, I’m so thankful that I am truly thankful for so much. “So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” – James‬ ‭1:16-18‬ ‭ “When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” – Hebrews‬ ‭12:26-29‬ ‭

A post shared by Dugan Sherbondy (@dugansherbondy) on

“And those promises are true, even when I’m in pain. As a close friend once prayed a few months ago: ‘I thank You that we don’t know everything. Because if we did it wouldn’t be good enough.’”

Dugan is an author, speaker and pastor and Lindsay is a calligrapher and Wisconsin based business owner. We admire the couple’s faith and servant hearts as parents. At times we can question God’s goodness in the midst of pain but the Sherbondy’s show us that our faith can remain strong even when we are weak. Keep Lindsay and the family in your prayers as she continues to recover.