I have a friend who had an unexpected call from the hospital: life altering tragedy; another with a report from a lab: life altering diagnosis; and their very lives change in an instant and it spills over to the lives of their families. We know local pastors whose lives in the village are amazingly difficult. And you and I both can add so many stories of suffering – great and small.
I’ve surrendered to the sadness just before each of my weekly shots. In their help to quench my body’s confusion (auto-immune disease) they also produce nausea and exhaustion. It’s not so bad now. But it is annoying and makes me sad that I can’t do the things I want to do every Saturday.
In our brokenness: we need.
I want to go back in time and change some domino that fell the wrong way.
We often treat suffering as if it's to be avoided at all costs, yet it's often the best display of a life transformed by Christ. Robert Murrey McCheyne, a Scottish minister of the previous century, said, "There is a great want about all Christians who have not suffered. Some flowers must be broken or bruised before they emit any fragrance" (cited in More Gathered Gold: a Treasury of Quotations for Christians, edited by John Blanchard [Welwyn, Eng. : Evangelical Press, 1986], p. 315). Do you view afflictions, trials, and sufferings as things to be avoided, or as the greatest opportunities to project the fragrance of a transformed life? http://www.gty.org/resources/study-guides/40-5207/through-suffering-to-triumph
And I stumble upon some new translations of the Word we are given as rama, specific words, we can use to battle the difficulties that Satan relishes in throwing at us.
2 Corinthians 12:10
So I most happily boast about my weaknesses, so that the strength of Christ may overshadow me. That is why I take such pleasure in weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecution, and difficulties, which I endure for Christ's sake, for it is when I am consciously weak that I am really strong.
Most gladly therefore will I boast rather of my weakness, that over me like a tent may be pitched the power of Christ. That is why I rejoice in weakness, in ill-treatment, in troubles, in persecutions and calamities for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am well content…
that over me
like a tent
may be pitched the power of Christ
So that the strength of Christ can
The strength of a tent in a storm is folly to the world.
The storms are sure. There is evil in this world who wishes nothing more than to destroy us.
Shouldn’t this tent be folly?
But the promises given to us, God breathed to us, are our dagger of protection when the battle is close at heart.
I can’t hold back a domino, I can’t fix tragedies, I am not able.
As soon as we recognize that—that we need—then He can be our strength.
I need His strength to overshadow my own.
The tent may just become like a strong tower.