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Yesterday my cousin passed away. A shortened life. Way, way too short. He fought a brave fight with cancer and I’m told he smiled in his last moments of life.

He smiled.

I can’t help but to wonder why suffering is allowed in this world. I question how God can allow his children to suffer.

I don’t have the answer. I’m not sure, in the midst of watching a loved one suffer, there is a good enough reason.

But I do know this. My cousin, because of his terrible situation, helped bring others to Jesus. I’m told in his last weeks and months he worked very hard to minister to others. Wow.

Talk about a purpose to all that pain and suffering. HE saved others as he was being called back to Jesus. So selfless. I find myself believing that, though God doesn’t necessarily bring suffering to his children, he does however open a window of opportunity within that suffering. Within all OUR suffering we can choose to still have a purpose and a mission. To love.

It is hard to think of celebrations after a loss. Today is, however, the 4th of July. And although to some, it may not seem like a big holiday-for me, I fall more and more in love with my Country. I want to share an excerpt as you hopefully celebrate this great Country we live in. And if you are suffering today, perhaps you can find a purpose in it, and know that you ARE loved.

Letter from John Adams to his wife in July 1776 (an excerpt):

But the day is past. The second day of July, 1776, will be memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great Anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.