I was thinking of those songs/prayers/studies that make me squirm. You know, lines like "do whatever you must do to make me more and more like You"....or studies on Job....or this painful doozy of prayer. "I choose truth over comfort, challenge over complacency." Yowsa!! But, being afraid *superstitious* of those things...makes me feel downright awful. Do you know why? Because I realize my faith is SO small. Evidently, my memory is short too.
There is not a single area in my life where God has not been completely and totally faithful. He is absolutely deserving of my TRUST--and obedience. If I truly identify with Him...I'm told in His Word that I will indeed share in His sufferings.
"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." 2 Cor. 1:5
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Rom. 8:17
I wonder...if that's how that crazy passage in James 1 works out..."consider it joy when you face trials of many kinds." The only way my trials are going to end with joy is if I come out refined and more like Christ. Then, it's worth any and all pain and injury suffered.
Now, no grumpy comments about my sadistic suggestions that we all pray for pain. I don't suggest we go around whipping ourselves the way those crazy flagellants did in the 13th century. I do think we should be wholly grateful for the good from God. BUT, we need to be thankful for the bad too--and see it as God's transforming song.
Only the Word is the answer to rightly reading the world, because The Word has nail-scarred hands that cup our face close, wipe away the tears running down, has eyes to look deep into our brimming ache, and whisper, “I know. I know.”
That suffering nourishes grace, and pain and joy are arteries of the same heart—and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty.
Can I believe the gospel?
That God is patiently transfiguring all the notes of my life into the song of His Son?’