Sunday, April 1, 2012

Suffering

“Are we willing to be used by God to accomplish his redemptive work, even when that work includes suffering that we don't understand?”

-How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture
by Michael Williams

I've been thinking a lot about suffering and loss this past week. It has been a rough week for me; emotionally and spiritually. Physically, it's been normal -- horrible back pain one day; not so bad the next 3 days...fortunately, the Aleve started working again.

It's Spring Break (or it was) and that brought up some changes in my routine. I didn't like it. And, no, that doesn't make me weird; some people have a hard time adjusting to change, in any form. And I am one of those people.

Sometimes I can't help but think that my disabilities; yes, I said -ies, are a punishment for something. For what exactly? You got me. I've come to grips with my physical condition: my mother drank and smoked while she was pregnant with me. And, believe it or not, I'm okay with that. I know that God didn't want that to happen, but he did allow it. And maybe I'm okay with the whole thing because people can see it...they know there's a problem. I wear a brace.

Emotionally...well, that's a whole other ball game. You can't see depression. There's no blood test; no scientific measurement. I'm just sad. Which is why it so often feels like a punishment. How can I explain, how can I quantify behavior that there is no visible explanation for? I'm not looking for an excuse; for pity; for a 'get out of jail free' card. I just do and feel sometimes. It's like a life sentence with no hope of parole. What did I do to deserve that?

We should remember and focus on what God has done and not on what we have done.
Luke 22:19


But what if I'm looking at this the wrong way? Perhaps God gave (allowed me to have) this condition because he knew I could handle it. What does that tell me about what the Creator of the Universe thinks of me? That I'm loved? That I'm wanted? That I'm a survivor? All those things and more. God loves me. He wants me to succeed...to overcome...to survive.

"What we can be sure of is that God is about his redemptive work, as he always is, and has chosen us to participate in that work by sharing, at least for a while, in some of the same kind of suffering his own Son experienced [see 1 Peter 4:12-13]."

-How to Read the Bible Through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture
by Michael Williams

1 comment:

  1. There it is.....that is superb growth my friend. Good processing and lovely prose...I wouldn't expect less from you. peace - Kristen

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