“Job found his legacy through the grief he experienced.” Streams In The Desert by L. B. Cowman, p. 344
“If Joseph had never been Egypt’s prisoner, he would have never been Egypt’s governor. The iron chain that bound his feet brought about the golden chain around his neck.” selected Streams In The Desert by L. B. Cowman, p. 343
All the reasons for suffering I’ve given so far, they all point to the foremost reason we suffer. We suffer for the same reasons the Bible said Job and Joseph suffered – to bring us to God and to bring us to our purpose.
Our suffering points to the ultimate suffering that saved, which is Jesus.
At our former church, we read aloud the same passage at the end of every single sermon, and my voice broke every single time.
“Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
I’m not sure what I was most emotional about, that God would break my heart or that I’d try so hard to resist breaking that He wouldn’t. I desperately wanted to live like He wanted me to live. I was equally desperate about not wanting it to hurt much.
From God’s message to Ezekial, He said, “I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed.” Ezekial 36:26 The Message
I wanted what God said in verse 28, “You’ll be my people. I will be your God.”
Unfortunately, giving up our self-will does hurt much, but only for as long as we keep trying hard to do it our way. Afterwards, most of us admit we never would have chosen our heartache, but we also admit we would never go back to who we were before it happened. The suffering, if we give into it, changed us and brought us closer to Him.
Fortunately, He cares enough about each one of us that He allows us to suffer instead of settle for a life without Him.
“The Commission” by Cain, three singing siblings who became my favorite music group after hearing them perform at our church, is based on the Great Commission from Matthew 28: 19.
Here it is from the Amplified Bible, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The first time I heard their song, my voice broke as a sang along. They sang that we have a purpose and God has a plan, which is for us to go and tell the world about Him.
Pain prepares us for our purpose, softens us so we’re sensitive to others, and gives us a story to tell. It breaks our hearts for what breaks His. Pain pushes us toward a life we may not have chosen, but one we’re finally happy to be living … because of Him and for Him.
In This Together,
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because the blog posts will eventually be an entire manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. Each blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is one subheading within the chapter. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and suggestions. I’m over-the-top grateful you’re here.