Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sorrow and Suffering

“Go with Sorrow and Suffering, and if you cannot welcome them now, when you come to the difficult places where you cannot manage alone, put your hands in theirs confidently and they will take you exactly where I want you to go.”

Wow, really, Lord? Are Sorrow and Suffering that important for us to find the path You’ve laid out for us? Isn’t there another way? Aren’t Sorrow and Suffering for those who have no hope of a Savior? How could you, Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, ask us to walk with Sorrow and Suffering. You’re the one who can keep them away from us! And yet You ask us to go with them… to confidently put our hands in theirs. This is so contrary to what I grew up believing.

I used to believe that following Christ would spare me from Sorrow and Suffering. I believed that following Christ would cause all the blessings and prosperity of God to fall into place for me. I thought that God would never allow Sorrow and Suffering in my life… in the life of His beloved child… at least if I followed all His Rules.

It didn’t take long before I realized there was no way I could follow all the rules. I failed miserably again and again. I thought there was no way I could possibly get to heaven. Finally I had that face-palm moment when God said, “Of course you can’t follow all the rules, that’s the whole point! Why do you think I sent my Son to die?!” Oh, so following the rules won’t get me into heaven, but it will get me what I want on earth, right?

Raise my kids in the Word and in Church, pray for them daily, even join a Moms in Touch Group, teach Sunday School and Wednesday night Bible Club and they will grow up to become sold-out, God-fearing adults, right? And I will become an old, doting grandmother to my grandchildren, right? a + b = c, right?

Not necessarily.

God wants so much more for us than to “live happily every after” on earth. This is not our home. We will “live happily every after” but that doesn’t come until later. For now, we must walk with Sorrow and Suffering.

Sorrow and Suffering are not to be avoided at all cost… in fact, they cannot be. We all have our share of them. So don’t ignore them, don’t flee from them, don’t try to fix them or wish them away. Don't even try to pray them away. Confidently place your hands in their hands and allow them to lead you exactly where the Shepherd wants you to go.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!