I Shouldn’t Have To Suffer So
It has become a widely believed and accepted notion that somehow being a Christian should get folks a ‘get outta everything troublesome card.’ It’s almost like we’ve become of the mind that we shouldn’t have to experience any stress, pain, hardship, or strife. When we do, our first response is… I shouldn’t be made or have to suffer so.
Somehow we assume that because Jesus is in our lives, we won’t have a worry or a care. If we continue to look at things from this perspective, we’re going to be in for a rather rude awakening. If we don’t open our eyes, we’re going to fall prey to another vicious lie.
We’re going to not only start believing that we don’t deserve our suffering, we’re going to start resenting God’s ways. Doing the right thing isn’t going to work anymore as we don’t see the reward in it.
Let me tell you, I’ve been there. It’s not a pretty track of mind to be on!
A Lesson In Bed Bugs and Honesty
After going two years without them, I can’t tell you what it did to my heart, mind, and body finding these little creepers in our bed. My first reaction, of course, was anger. The last time I dealt with these was bad enough, and when my husband and I found them this time it seems I couldn’t help but relive that past instance.
- Why does this always happen to me?
- Why is it every time we do something nice, we get burned for it?
The frustration didn’t end there either. It became a series of more ‘woe is me’ kind of thoughts.
- Great, so now if I tell my folks, they’ll never want to see me.
- Wonderful, now my client won’t want me to come to work with them.
- We’re already tight on cash, this couldn’t come at a worse time.
- With all we already got going on, we don’t need this to add to our troubles.
- I’ve already got an inflamed knee, must I damage the rest of me too just to maintain things?
The last time our house was struck with them, we lost a lot of our possessions as they were beyond salvageable. More importantly, trust was broken and relationships damaged. Things truly had escalated beyond our control. Then, I wonder, do we ever really have control?
I only wish I’d taken the time to consider the what I have now.
This time, I can say… while I might know where they came from, I learned a hard lesson from that first bought really didn’t come to light until I did my bible study this week.
What did I learn? Well… in short
Part of being a Christian is recognizing the call to suffer.
In other words, we endure hardship so that we might learn and grow. This way too we might better love one another when we see each other struggle and fall. We’re taught to love like Christ did, and I think to do that, we must first understand the weight of the cross he bore.
Our day to day struggles gives us the closest taste we’ll ever have to the weight of the cross Christ carried for us.
So instead of whining, moaning, getting ugly, and casting blame… we need to endure our trials. We need to live, learn, and grow from them not just in attitude and actions, but also in faith.
I could point fingers at the folks I figure brought the bed bugs into our home, but what would it do? Likely only stir up bitterness and resentment.
I could choose not to tell anyone who enters my house or those I am in contact with on a daily basis so that I might continue about my daily business without hindrance. In the end, I’d put them at risk all for a measly amount of money.
Or I can come together with my husband, pray and take action to ensure the health and well-being of our family and those who come in and out of our home.
As unfortunate as our circumstances can or maybe, we’re blessed. We’re blessed with a God who knows and understands our suffering. While we may not be delivered from the storm, we may very well be delivered by it.
In our predicament, I’ve come to appreciate many things that perhaps I took for granted.
- A good night’s sleep.
- The hard work, love, and dedication of my husband for our family and home.
- The beauty and simplicity of a night under the stars.
And as funny as it sounds, if we ever find ourselves here again, we’ll know exactly what to do! Thank God too, for knowing us as He does, he might not have given us the easiest of ways out, but He’s provided us with the means to do what’s necessary if only we’re strong enough to do it.
Holiness and Suffering
God’s always looking at the bigger picture. The bigger picture, of course, is our eternal souls. All that we know and endure here on earth has an impact on the condition of our soul.
New International Version (NIV)
21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
Psalm 23:4 King James Version (KJV)
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
1 Peter 5:10New International Version (NIV)
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
We can’t know or experience holiness without first coming to deal with suffering.
True joy isn’t the absence of pain but the sanctifying, sustaining, presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the pain.
Nancy Leigh Demoss