From an interview Joni Eareckson Tada gave to Christianity Today in October 2010, shortly after receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer (paragraph formatting is mine):
How has your perspective on suffering and healing changed since your breast cancer diagnosis?
Thankfully, it hasn’t changed at all.
You examine Scripture again and follow every passage regarding healing. I did that with my quadriplegia, and I did that again 10 years ago, when I embarked on a whole new life of chronic pain. Just a month ago, getting diagnosed with breast cancer, I looked at those same Scriptures, and God’s words do not change.
Even though it seems like a lot is being piled on, I keep thinking about 1 Peter 2:21: “To these hardships you were called because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.”
Those steps most often lead Christians not to miraculous, divine interventions but directly into the fellowship of suffering. In a way, I’ve been drawn closer to the Savior, even with this breast cancer.
There are things about his character that I wasn’t seeing a year ago or even six months ago. That tells me that I’m still growing and being transformed. First Peter 2:21 is a good rule of thumb for any Christian struggling to understand God’s purposes in hardship.