Here at Mockingbird we talk a lot about Law & Gospel, death & resurrection, about how God is constantly putting to death and raising to new life, how He is active in and through suffering and grace.

I was reminded once more of the power and truth of this paradigm by a story in today’s NYTimes about Chris Andersen, the 6-10, tatted-up, faux-hawked reserve for the Denver Nuggets, who are currently battling the Los Angeles Lakers for a spot in the NBA finals (that’s basketball, in case you’re not sure:)
Andersen had a very troubled childhood, including a four-year stint in a home for boys. All the suffering eventually took its toll, expressing itself in broken relationships and, eventually, drug use that led to a two-year suspension from the NBA. That might have been the end for Andersen, but a (Christ-like) friend stepped in, inviting Andersen to live with him, his wife and children, and supporting Andersen through rehab and counseling.

Looking back, Andersen (who has become something of a fan favorite, even role model) said the following:
“If it wasn’t for what led to that suspension, and me having to go through the suspension, and then me rebuilding my life, I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in right now.”

Sounds like good news for sufferers.
For 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)