Wednesday, April 17, 2019


The pain of the Cross helped me find context for my own suffering. 
Below is an excerpt from my new book Touched By Eternity: A True Story of Heaven, Healing, and Angels

Happy Easter.

Chapter 32
“God chose the weak things of the world …” 1 Corinthians 1:27b (NIV).

 was never interested in the topic of pain until writing this book, and for the first time I asked the question: Why do I see Heaven when I’m weak, sick, and in pain? And a related question: Was Jesus sick like I was? 
Scripture uses the specific words of hungry, thirsty, and tired when speaking of Jesus, but does not state that He was sick. Yet the evidence is there. The night before the cross He sweated blood. On the cross He was tortured, experienced agony and unimaginable pain. He was battered, bruised, dehydrated, exhausted, and weak. His blood flowed and His flesh was ripped into an unrecognizable mass of tissue. That horror is unparalleled and makes my being “sick” a garden party. 
            Pain comes from the Greek word odin,1meaning birth pangs. My heavenly visits first started in 1998 when I was in a literal “birth” state, pregnant and afflicted with hyperemesis gravidarum. 
Paul says of pain in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “… for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (NIV). 
Weakness is a theme in my life and therefore is the perfect context for becoming strong in Christ. 
On Saturday, July 9th2017, the Lord had spoken to me with words coming up as if from my stomach and fastening themselves in my brain. “Do you prefer to be weak and see Heaven OR to be healthy and not see it?”
Oh, why must there be a choice? Why one or the other and not both? Self-absorbed me, daughter of the fallen—I wanted the health and the sightings of Eternity too. I knew my answer, the binary choice, but I could not bring myself to voice it. So instead I wrote to my friend, Helen, on Facebook. She, too, understands pain.
“I totally understand that thought and impression,” Helen wrote back. “When we are weak we experience God in a special way because we are so helpless and dependent on Him.” 
My 112-pound pain-plundered body makes me the paradoxical and contradictory “strong”. In odin the paradoxos takes on enlightenment. In odin I am nearing perfection. In the weak, frail state I see the celestial city; I sit on the grounds and watch children who worship before the throne.
My wealth is in ill-health. If I am healthy, I will focus my attention on outside things that take me away from God, but when I’m indoors literally confined to a bed, I find Him more and more. God is a jealous God, and He calls us to holiness by loosening the ties to this world—this world that worships the brilliant and the beautiful, the successful and the rich, the famous and the athletic. They are splashed on television and social media, larger-than-life in their extravagance. The world rushes to admire them, make them our heroes, emulate them. 
But the paradoxos calls from 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are” (NIV).

An excerpt from Touched By Eternity: A True Story of Heaven, Healing, and Angels. Print copies available at and coming on May 1, 2019 to international distributors.

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Thank you for sharing this chapter from your 'Heaven & Eternity' book, Susan. I'm sure that many of us missed in our younger years and earlier Christian experience the understanding you bring out concerning "the problem of pain" and suffering, in general, as children of God.
The spiritual dynamic of our weaknesses being transformed by God's grace and the working of the Holy Spirit into strength (as Paul experienced, expressed and taught) is an area that I've seen at work in my own life and service. ~~+~~

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