Is There Purpose in Suffering?

I’m so honored and pleased to host author and friend Michael King. Mike is many things: husband, father, physical therapist and cancer survivor.

I do like to host people who can give first hand accounts of medical issues to offer insight. These posts help authors walk in someone else’s shoes as a way to deepen our writing and understanding.

Mike has agreed to give away one copy of his new book, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, to a commenter on this post. Please leave your e-mail address with your comment to qualify. Drawing will be Saturday night, October 20th at midnight. Winner announced on this blog Sunday, September 21st. Must live in the USA.

As an added bonus, buy the week of October 15-20 and get free stuff. Find out more at

Welcome, Mike!

My full-time job is in the field of physical therapy. Every day I see patients who suffer. Whether they’ve just had a knee replaced or are battling cancer or struggling to recover from a recent bout of pneumonia, their lives have been turned upside down and flipped on end.
And suffering messes with you, it brings depression and mood swings, loneliness and fatigue. It paints the world in varying hues of gray and ushers in a permanent overcast sky.
I approach each patient from not only a physical aspect, but from a psychological and spiritual one as well. I look at it as part of my job and their therapy to put their suffering into perspective and give them some hope.
Suffering serves a purpose. It does. If you look at it through the right set of lenses.
It serves to humble us, focus us, clear away all the junk in life that has crowded our vision for so long. Suffering also reminds us of some important life lessons.
Here are five things suffering reminds us of.
1.                  We are mortal and our power is limited. There’s only so much in this world that we can control and that, in fact, is very little. Suffering reminds us that though we plan and do our best to carry out those plans according to our will much of what happens day in and day out is beyond our scope of control.
2.                  We live in an imperfect world. Way back in the beginning, man invited sin into the world, that sin cursed the world and brought suffering with it. Now we must live with the consequences. Suffering reminds us that not all suffering is a direct result of our own sin. Sometimes it just happens; it’s the world we live in.
3.                  To focus on the things in life that really matter. We have a tendency to get sidetracked by things that only seem like they matter. Suffering reminds us that the majority of our energy and efforts should be spent on the things that truly matter.
4.                  We are not alone. It may seem like we are alone and the road may get very lonely but suffering reminds us that there is always One who travels with us, encouraging us, urging us onward, holding us when we can go no farther.
5.                  Life is precious. Life is a gift and there is so much at stake. Suffering reminds us that we matter to God, that He counts us as the crown jewel of His creation. That He cares about even the smallest details of our life. And that He hurts when we hurt.
These truths in no way minimize a person’s suffering. It’s real and very much in-your-face, something they face every day. But it helps to put suffering in its right place and look at it from a new perspective.


Michael King is a husband, father, cancer survivor, and rehab manager for a large home care agency. His new book, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, is now available. Buy it the week of October 15-20 and get free stuff. Find out more at

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