Good morning, girls. It’s Rebekah. : ) Happy FUN FRIDAY to you!
Jill and I talked about a post on suffering to finish out our Beatitudes this week. Whoa. That's not so fun, is it? Well, stick with me for a second...
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4.
Suffering has been a part of my life for the past few years. Suffering finds me…. and I find myself suffering along with those I love and some that I barely know- to be honest. My heart just goes out to them and I have “entered in” to their suffering, mostly with a broken heart.
Cancer, divorce, death, abuse, addiction, mental illness, court battles, job loss, bankruptcy, loss of a child, miscarriage, tragedy of any kind.
Suffering is ugly, it hurts, and it creates a kind of “hope hole.” Or, it can. Right? Suffering can start a series of “Why God, Why?” questions. These questions can cause us to question our faith.
Suffering is coming. No one escapes suffering, not even Christ.
The only way through the suffering is with Jesus.
Christ is keenly aware of our suffering. He is watching us and looking for his chance to bear our pain. Meanwhile, we are stuck in the middle of our suffering mess.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalms 56:8
Last fall, after a long season of lots of bad, gut wrenching, life changing news and discouraging days that were marked by my own suffering and pain; something happened. I blurted out to my small group through a wall of tears, “I know that suffering will come, but I cannot stand the pain. It hurts too much. I need the Lord to take the pain away.” At that moment- I heard my own words.
Something happened. The second part of Matthew 5:4 came true...COMFORT.
I started praying, with a very broken spirit, “Lord, please take this pain away.”
You know what? Relief came almost instantly. It really did. I could pray and talk to God about these problems, but I was relieved of the tremendous pain. I have started to pray this same prayer for my friends. I am beginning to see it's fruits.
I think that lingering pain can begin to feel normal, but we don’t have to bear that weight. The Lord already took care of our burden. Also, I've found that tremendous, ongoing pain can cause a faith crisis.
We can let go of that pain. Keeping it close is dangerous. Pulling Jesus into our suffering is our way out.
Now listen, we tell ourselves that we have the right to grieve and we have the right to be angry and we have the right to be down in our pain. I am beginning to realize that this is a trap. A grief trap. There is a season to grieve, yes, but there is also a season to let go of grieving.
Ok, so it’s fun Friday and mourning, grief and suffering isn’t "fun." But wait… Pulling the rip cord on all that pain could be very good for us and good for our relationship with Christ. Losing 50 pounds of suffering and grief is fun in my book!!!
Fun Friday CHALLENGE:
Ask the Lord to take your pain away…
Release yourself from the pain of suffering so that you can find the hope that lies within the midst of the challenge you face.
Jettison that pain, girls. Ask the Lord to take it away and allow yourself to be comforted. I pray He does, in Jesus’ name. Amen
“It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”