Monday, April 23, 2007

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just felt like nothing went the right way? Where you find yourself asking, "Geez, when am I going to catch a break?" So I'm in that place right now. It feels like one thing after another keeps popping up and creating this perpetual drama...I feel like I could write a book on the events that have happened in the last week alone. So, yes, you could say I had begun to feel sorry for myself and ask God what the crap was He doing (when I know full well that He knows exactly what He's doing and it's me who needs the help!) when I was reminded of something quite profound, yet incredible simple. Christ died. Yes, died. For be living and breathing and experiencing every moment of what I am experiencing at this very moment. And no, it's not for my torture, but for my gain, that He might be glorified in my weakness. Life, despite what I like to think most of the time, is not about me. It is about living in such a way to glorify my Father who put me in this place for such a time as troubles are light in comparison to what He battled just so I could live. So pish posh on all this rubbish. Yes, it sucks. No, it's not fun and I don't want to be dealing with it. But yes, there is a purpose beyond what I see today. I might not see it now, I might not see it in five years, but the point is that at the core of who I am, the real point is not what external factors I "have" to deal with, but what those external factors do to me as a believer. That they strengthen my faith, allow others to see power in the circumstances, to allow me to find joy in the suffering, and to see His glory in the worst of times...the times that seems there is no possible solution.

The hardest part for me about suffering, and not just suffering, but seemingly pointless suffering, is that it feels as though I have been wronged. For instance, right now, I'm suffering for someone else's folly and having to pay a pretty severe price for it. Not only financially, but personally. Their mistakes have defamed my character. And you know what - I think it's not fair. I think most people would feel the same. Angry, outraged, mad at the system, wanting revenge, wanting justice...wanting freedom. But reality is, and Isaiah reminds us so vividly of this, He was beated and mishandled and murdered for nothing He did, but for what we did. So all these things we feel we are punished for unjustly are really just the consequences of sin. Not just in the moment but those we have accrued in life as finite beings. I am so grateful for the life I have and for the life He allows me to have. I know, no, I am confident of this: that He will provide the way out. Not necessarily that I will be vindicated and left unpunished, but that He will provide the way for me to be set free and the point of this so-called suffering I feel I'm enduring will have an everlasting result on not only my life, but hopefully the lives of someone else.