I came across an entry in a journal of mine today, written during a time of crisis that revealed--as conflict so often does--the human heart's two depths of Christ-neediness: the blackened and the bleeding.
So much sin. So much confused pain.
...What a big heartache this all is, and yet there is truth, and with it a sort of awful beauty; the sort that burns you up and transforms whatever remains.
There is so much pain in this world.
As Christians, we are called to confront suffering, which lies near the heart of the gospel. We of all people are empowered to face it, armed with the hope of an ultimate redemption and restoration, which liberates us from otherwise inevitable devastation. We of all people are called to embrace it when we embrace Christ, because of the hostile sin that pervades us and the world, making it so hard for us to be like Him.
We suffer, when we struggle against the sin that corrupts and clings to us.
We suffer, when we try to live as Christ would in a world that hates Him.
We suffer, when we try to love other unlovable sinners.
We suffer, when we make mistakes or bad decisions.
We suffer, finally, when tragedy strikes with no apparent reason--perhaps the sharpest pain of all.
And suffering changes us.
Suffering is senseless, and so is the pain that goes along with it, if it serves no other purpose than to destroy you.
Here's the rub: it must destroy something, and it's your choice what that will be.
Will suffering destroy your hope and your faith,
leaving you with nothing solid to stand on, alone and empty,
or will your suffering destroy the parts of you that tie you to the things of this earth
and keep your focus off the God of heaven?
Die Young by Hayley and Michael DiMarco
As the DiMarcos pointed out so aptly, suffering destroys something within us.
We cannot be the same again.
To complete our fear of suffering, we can't escape it. For whatever reason, in whatever situation, we will all inevitably experience suffering in our lives. That's a pretty bleak shadow to live under.
But even this can be to God's glory, and--even more unthinkable--our good.
I know I've written on this before--I've definitely thought over it many times--but when does this stop being relevant to our lives? This new perspective from the DiMarcos helped me in dealing with the very real, gory part of suffering--the emotions, which make it so painful, and which change us so drastically.
Suffering doesn't have to destroy what is good in us.
It may break our hope and trust--but perhaps, in a way that redefines and redirects both. It may tear us away from something--leaving a space, however bloody, for something greater.
If Christ's death, the worst possible form of suffering and tragedy to have happened on our bleeding, messed up earth, could be transformed into the best possible form of hope and redemption, of restoration and reconciliation for that very same messed up earth--what of our comparatively small agonies?
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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