Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Welcome Suffering When You Desire Super Power {Meditation of My Heart Mondays}




You can call it crazy. I prefer to call it curious.

While anticipating the birth of my firstborn I was eager to fully know what it would be like to deliver the living, growing child within my womb. I was determined to not have any pain-relieving medication during this agonizingly rip-roaring miracle. I wanted as natural a childbirth as possible and, besides, I have a strong dislike for needles.

Here's the curious thing: I wanted to know how painful childbirth really is. I wanted to go through the whole labour and deliver and experience the excruciating pain and the exhilarating joy.

Yeah, you could say crazy.

The stranger thing is when I was pregnant with my second, I was fully aware of the kind of pain that was ahead of me, but I still wanted to know if it would be just as intense as the first time. By the time I was swollen with my third child, you would think I would not need to wonder any longer, but my curiosity got the better of me. For the third time, I knew the multiplied pain in all its original curse.

I consider that bearing and bringing forth a child is a privilege and a blessing. By doing it without any pain management medication, I was enabled to feel the full extent of the power within to bring forth life. It really was an exhilarating kind of pain and I found out it's true when they say you will forget the pain (may I add, momentarily) when you know the exciting joy of new life.

We are afraid of pain and suffering. If we can avoid it, we will. And I'm not talking about the punishment of pain in childbirth now, but all suffering we endure for the sake of Christ.

What if we were crazy enough to embrace suffering for the sake of Christ?

I've always been struck with Paul's longing that he expressed in his letter that he penned while suffering in prison.


His goal and aim in life was to know Christ in an intimate and personal relationship. The great apostle knew that to know the power of new life, he would have to taste suffering and become like Christ in His death. 

Paul knew it's the one who suffers much that experiences the all-sufficient grace of God.

In suffering we will experience the exhilarating joy of God's power at work in us.

In the storms of life we will see the lighthouse that stands firm.

In pain our purpose is made clear.

A life without suffering lacks the need to look unto Jesus, the One "who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame" and was raised to heights of Glory at the right hand of the throne of God.

Resist suffering and you resist seeing God's powerful hand at work in your life.

Gratefully accept the thorns, the tremulous times, the troubles, and trials and God's power will rest upon those who gladly boast in their weakness.

Suffer for Christ sake and you will know a Power that brings forth new life.

Cause we're not just talking about crazy or curious perceptions in life, but the whole purpose of your life.

Dare I say, 'bring on the pain'?



***


Are you willing to share in the suffering to know Christ? Share in the comments how you endure suffering for the sake of Christ?


A Soft Gentle Voice

14 comments:

  1. Great insights & perspective! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

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  2. I'm not brave enough yet to boldly say, "Bring on the pain." :) But I definitely agree with you that suffering has and does turn my eyes to Jesus so I ought to be courageous enough to say it.

    "Resist suffering and you resist seeing God's powerful hand at work in your life." Truth here. Thanks, Rebekah.

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    1. Lisa, brave I will never be, but He graciously supplies the faith we need to endure. Boldly trust Him and He will give us the strength. Praying for this in my life, too. Thank you for your vulnerability.

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  3. I'm stopping by from the SDG link-up. These lines really speak to me, especially as we are in the midst of a season of trials: "Resist suffering and you resist seeing God's powerful hand at work in your life.
    Gratefully accept the thorns, the tremulous times, the troubles, and trials and God's power will rest upon those who gladly boast in their weakness." I'm not sure I'm quite able yet to accept gratefully, but I'm at least working towards acceptance. I know He has a purpose in the pain. :) Thanks for sharing this encouragement!

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    1. Praying for you in your season of trial. He has a purpose, yes! For you to trust, and look to Him and adore Him and give thanks. Not easy, but He will strengthen you. Feast on the grace of His gospel.

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  4. I think this is where I found myself over the weekend when I was sitting at Panera... I was hurting but I knew through the tears I was crying He was drawing me closer and closer to Him. Through all of this...this separation from my husband...I'm learning how much I need to depend on Him. His powerful hand is at work in my life.
    Much love,
    Beth
    xoxoxo

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    1. Beth, His hand is at work in your life. Drawing you intimately closer to Him. Listen for His voice in His Word. He is your joy and strength. Thanks be to God for the victory we have in Christ Jesus!

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  5. Rebekah, I think when we know, as Beth said above, that working through the pain brings us closer to Jesus, we will learn to embrace it.

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    1. I think so too. We learn from our experiences. His past faithfulness reminds us that He is always faithful. And pursues us with a steadfast love. Grace. Truly amazing!

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  6. Whenever I find myself in a place of suffering, I think about the finished work on the cross, and how Christ suffered for me. I can't say I've arrived to that place where I can fully say "bring it on" just yet, but I pray that day will come. Pain and suffering does help me grow closer to Christ, as I realize my great need of Him and my dependence on Him.

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    1. Make a bee-line to the cross and therein is always the answer, our hope, our foundation. Praying with you, sister. Looking to Jesus.

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  7. I have found in my times of deepest suffering that I found Jesus the nearest. Your photographs are beautiful!

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