Saturday, July 3, 2010

Do I suffer?

Being sick this week and having to go back on intravenous antibiotics throws quite the wrench into my already hectic daily routine. This literally adds 4 extra steps to my day encompassing
2.5 extra hours that I have to make the time for. Ultimately this means other things get put off, rearranged, and sometimes canceled all together. I do however continue to try to stick with as normal a day as possible- but sometimes that extra 2.5 hours that are split up into 3 separate times out of my day get in the way and get me frustrated! What can I say~ we all have our trials and burdens to bear. But this week I was approached by someone that claims they would like to get to know the real me a little bit better. I heard in that statement the echo of what our prayer triplet is all about, (well besides prayer that is)! Getting to know one another better so we can together get to know God better and find the answers to the questions:
God what do you want me to do and what do you want me to be?

So I engaged in a few conversations with this person throughout the week,
waiting for God to speak to me and to try and figure out why this popped up
all of the sudden and why at this particular time. I am stressed; sick, seemingly
overwhelmed and I just don’t have enough time in the day.

I am so glad though, that I took the time to listen and talk with this person.
I am so glad that I am not missing this lesson.

In one of these conversations- the question was posed to me:
“Why do you think God allows you to suffer so much”?
I wanted to have an answer just pop out of my mouth- but nothing came. I thought, oh Lord, I know this is all You- You need to give me a really good answer to this question so that this person has a greater understanding of You. Help Me!!! But nothing came to mind. I thought of all the scripture that I knew, all the excuses that I had told before… nothing seemed right for this moment with this person. I reluctantly answered:
“well, if what you think is my suffering brings you to a closer interest in God, then so be it”.
But I was not happy with my answer.

So I went home and thought more about it.
That night I prayed.

I asked God:
“Why must I suffer?”

The most famous sufferer of all time was a man named Job.
According to the Bible, Job lost his family to "a mighty wind," his wealth to war and fire, and his health to painful boils. Through it all, God never told Job why it was happening. As Job endured the accusations of his friends, heaven remained silent. When God finally did speak, He did not reveal that His archenemy Satan had challenged Job's motives for serving God.
Neither did the Lord apologize for allowing Satan to test Job's devotion to God. Instead, God talked about mountain goats giving birth, young lions on the hunt, and ravens in the nest. He cited the behavior of the ostrich, the strength of the ox, and the stride of the horse. He cited the wonders of the heavens, the marvels of the sea, and the cycle of the seasons. Job was left to conclude that if God had the power and wisdom to create this physical universe, there was reason to trust that same God in times of suffering (Job 1-42).

No one has suffered more than our Father in heaven. No one has paid more dearly for the allowance of sin into the world. No one has so continuously grieved over the pain of a race gone bad. No one has suffered like the One who paid for our sin in the crucified body of His own Son. No one has suffered more than the One who, when He stretched out His arms and died, showed us how much He loved us. It is this God who, in drawing us to Himself, asks us to trust Him when we are suffering and when our own loved ones cry out in our presence ( 1 Peter 2:21; 3:18; 4:1).

Again, I asked God:
“Why must I suffer?”
And He answered:
“Do you trust Me?”