Let's be real for a second. We like to have fun on the Drive Home. Our two favorite topics are probably food and cats. But once in a while we also like to dive into subjects that are "less fun," and wrestle through the tough stuff together. And so it happened that our discussion this week turned to topic of suffering. I know, right? Not my favorite.
The title of the article that prompted our discussion was, "The Gift of Your Suffering to the Body of Christ." Yikes. I confess I was reluctant to read it at first. But once I did, I was surprised.
Here's a few highlights we found helpful. You can read the full article by Rebecca Reynolds here.
1. Suffering really can be a gift. "...trouble is a classroom that will one day transform our presence into a portable trauma center–both for people we love now and people that we will come to love in the future."
2. If you're in the middle of a season of suffering and it hurts, even though you may know the truth? It's okay. It doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. It means you're human. "Understanding the math of suffering doesn’t often remedy the emotional consequences of suffering."
3. Ultimately, your pain can be redeemed. And it's not dependent on how well you perform in the midst of your suffering. Redemption is God's job.
"But here is the God who sees you:
'He wipes away every tear.'
'He makes all things new.'
'He works all things for the good of those who love Him.'
These are statements of healing that deny neither the grief nor the severity of what you have endured. These statements invite you to be honest about the intensity of your emotions. They allow you to believe that Jesus sometimes sits beside Mary and Martha, weeping in compassion with them, days, decades, an entire lifetime after he has allowed Lazarus to die, and before he raises him from the dead. And while Jesus weeps in compassion, it’s okay if you do, too."