Why suffering?

{repost from 1/6/2021}

There have been a handful of revelations God has ministered to me over the course of these past few months.

One of them is part of “the answer” to why He allows suffering.

To why He lets those who love Him so much, those who try to remain faithful and in the trenches, to suffer so much.

The first part has to do with evil: God uses evil like weights on a deadlift bar. He ordains it, we encounter it, get stronger, become holier, and our place in heaven is subsequently raised. But this isn’t the part I want to talk about today.

God allows suffering because, and this is the linchpin, if we can *suffer well* it will be the greatest testimony of our lives.

Suffering is painful. It is often avoided at all costs. Suffering is not a joyful thing. And, yet, if one can suffer well, with joy and peace even, then the underlying impetus becomes something of intrigue. What in the world is causing that person to not only make it through but, more importantly, make it through with JOY?!

This is why the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. They walked WILLINGLY into suffering, with smiles on their faces. “I want what they have,” was the response of so many.

Despite the great suffering Michael and I and our kids have endured, I’ve wanted and tried to walk this path with trust in the One leading us and subsequent joy as to what He’s doing with it all. It doesn’t take away the pain (in fact it often makes it worse because those earthly escapes shouldn’t be a Christian’s response). But it does make it motivating.

I have given up any notion of escaping suffering and have, instead, embraced that this is my lot. And, if this is my lot, I best make the best out of it – turning my focus from myself to the testimony that our suffering is speaking and that it is (hopefully) producing great fruits in other people’s lives.

So let us embrace suffering. Let us let our guard down and not be so steeled against it. (For often we suffer more in imagination that reality…) Suffering is the means by which we are purified and ultimately GLORIFIED. We join Jesus in his sufferings and soon, my friends, in His RESURRECTION as well.

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