Breast cancer and a subsequent double mastectomy.
The loss of a corporate job and a six-figure income.
A pandemic that forced her into homeschooling.
A painful marital separation.
Most people hit by even one of these problems would feel justified in holding a pity party—or at least complaining to God. But Tonya Walker tells Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of the Greenelines podcast that the title of her new book, It Was Good for Me to Be Afflicted, encapsulates her journey. The title of the devotional commentary comes from Psalm 119:71, but it also comes from her life.
"Because I was afflicted, it gave me an opportunity to know God in a more profound way—beyond church experiences, beyond religion, beyond what I've read about," she says. "A lot of us say that we want to know Him, and it sounds good. But the truth of the matter is we can never really know Him beyond what we experience, beyond what is revealed to us. And so I had a moment in my life—and I'm still having this moment—where the Word became flesh to me."
Her experience with cancer and the fear of having to leave her child taught her about Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our Healer, Walker says. The experience of losing her job and income as well as having to become a stay-at-home mom taught her to trust in Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our Provider. And the experience of marital problems taught her that God would love her as Christ loves His bride, the church.
"The things that He felt I needed, those things remained," she says. "And so I came out of all of these things saying, 'Yes, it was good; it was good; it was good for me to be afflicted."
For more from Tonya Wood about how the Lord sustained her in her times of trial—and how He can sustain you too—listen to the entire episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. Subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform, and be sure to check out Wood's book, It Was Good for Me to Be Afflicted, wherever fine books are sold.
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