Friday, August 26, 2016

"Suffering will change you or it will crush you."

"What if the darkest moments of your life God intended for good?"

One of my children's favorite Bible stories is the story of Joseph. That story is soaked in sibling rivalry. The most horrible moment in Joseph's life was actually the beginning of the greatness God intended him for. I'm pretty sure as Joseph was being sold by his very own brothers, he wasn't thinking "Wow - suffering - I bet something good is coming!"

"The messiest waste of our lives becomes the most fertile soil."

I've often heard that you will find your gift - your purpose, among your biggest struggle.

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3

I'm telling you there is something I'm supposed to get out of this verse that I haven't yet. I can't tell you the number of times I have been given this verse through reading, devotions, sermons.

We need to WANT Jesus. And He's best known in suffering.

"Suffering will change you or it will crush you."

Sometimes I think it crushes you before it changes you? In times of suffering, I think we have to have a faith God can move through. It doesn't have to be the strongest faith. Or the deepest faith. But we can't have built a wall that shuts God out. We always have to leave a window open for Him.

27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:27

I'm coming upon the 3 year anniversary (do we really mark time from the beginning of a trial?) of my great gastro madness. I will confess - I still struggle with the idea that God wanted me to go through this. That He wanted my children to make the sacrifices they've had to make. That He wanted me to walk an un-diagnosable madness. And because it hasn't fully disappeared, I keep wondering - what am I missing? What am I supposed to learn from this that I haven't? How am I supposed to serve BECAUSE of this that I'm missing?

Have I been CHANGED by the suffering?

Mama Warriors, where you are today, be ALL there. If it's in trial, be ALL there. Soak it in and ask Him to draw you closer. I tell my children all the time our home school mission statement is to "Know God and make Him known." I have to ask myself constantly, is this moment drawing me closer to God? Am I making Him known to others through this? Have I reached a point in my character where I am secure in HOPE?

"God's economy makes beautiful exchanges; as we give, we grow."

Mama Warriors, love DEEP today. Be ALL there. Find the joys within your limits.

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