“Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.”
I personally hate suffering.
I’d like to custom order a Life filled with blessings and sunshine, a Life characterized by ease and rainbows and ice cream in the shade (without lactose intolerance), thank you very much.
But this is NOT all about me. There is a much bigger picture here.
Look at what the suffering of Jesus brought about for all of us, after all….
(I need some time to ponder this…)
A missionary pilot back in the day was perturbed that her people wouldn’t pray. They had learned about Jesus. They had by faith believed her message, and one by one chosen to give Him their lives. They were beginning to teach each other. They were vibrant in their faith.
But they wouldn’t pray.
She agonized in prayer in their behalf.
One day she was hauling a load of cement for a building project when her plane’s engines quit. With considerable difficulty, she landed near the village.
It was a bumpy landing.
When she came to, her eyes were burning with agony.
Cement powder had spilled all over her….
Villagers came running from all directions as she screamed. A doctor, she instructed them to rinse her eyes again and again with water.
She rolled and screamed and screamed as they did, the lime burning her with every rinse.
At some point, she was aware of a dramatic shift in her pain.
She could hear something.
Her villagers were praying. Fervent, booming prayers were rising all around her as she lay on the ground squirming and clutching her eyes.
She would later write that her suffering was worth the price. That village went on to produce mighty men and women of God whose lives were transformed by the power of prayer. The entire region was affected. Strong government rose up. Schools were built. Alcoholism died away, along with the social issues it had brought for generations. Truth rose up like a lighthouse beacon!
Where is the cement powder burning you today?
Could this be a suffering that, when well fought out, will be used to produce faith in others?
The suffering of Jesus taught Him obedience to the will of God.
Are you and I above Jesus? Do we not need to also learn obedience?
This life will pinch us. It will burn us. It can cause deep pain.
Some pain is caused by my own poor choices. Some is caused by the choices of others. Not all circumstances are caused by God – some suffering is caused by sheer evil. Sometimes we need to run from dangerous situations!
But sometimes He allows us the pain of discomfort, of stretching, with a deeper purpose of working out something beautiful from the ashes of what we are forced to leave behind.
I fight the hard learning, tooth and nail.
What if –
What if I were to shift my stance, lessen my grip, and allow God to do something beautiful with the circumstances I find challenging??
Maybe this is where the true glory of a Life lies…
Work with, and not against, suffering with me?
Father, we hang onto so much that You want us to set down. You know how stubborn we are, and what it will take for us to take a step out of our rut and into new growth. Forgive us for resisting what You want to do in us. Help us to learn and grow as we are stretched beyond our comfort zones. Amen.