Thursday, March 01, 2007

Way of Suffering

12-13Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. (I Peter 4 The Message)

Glory just around the corner eh? Some days those seem like pat answers to complex questions. Sometiimes, all I see is rain. The "I" in that last sentence is precisely the problem. For those who have to carry the weight of depression, it is our own perceptions that wrap us up so tightly. We can't get out of the way of our own faulty and broken perceptions. Walking through suffering can be a long and heavy road, it will strip you down to your bare essentials. I am in no way saying that I'm strong w/in it, but it is at these times when I feel extreme pain, that I know that I am alive and in the fight. And I think that stands for something.

The sufferings of Christ were not those of ordinary people. He suffered "according to the will of God" ( 1 Peter 4:19 ), having a different point of view of suffering from ours. It is only through our relationship with Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. When it comes to suffering, it is part of our Christian culture to want to know God’s purpose beforehand. In the history of the Christian church, the tendency has been to avoid being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. People have sought to carry out God’s orders through a shortcut of their own. God’s way is always the way of suffering— the way of the "long road home."
-Oswald Chambers

I may not like suffering, but I do want to be home. And my home is in Christ, I have no other.


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