Monday, March 14, 2011
Lent Day 5: Is there a purpose to suffering?
During the same week, our niece and nephew bury their infant son, who lives only for a day. Our daughter struggles to drive us around town as we visit, her shoulders crippling with arthritis. A friend continues chemotherapy, waves of nausea engulfing her days. A widower friend remembers the death of his wife, one year later.
Scripture encourages us not to give up living, even in the midst of despair, trial, or wounds. "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened," said Jesus (Matthew 7:7-8).
What we receive, find, or what the door opens to may literally be "what you ask for." However, in most cases, something completely unexpected shows up. Something we did not know we needed or wanted.
With God's permission, suffering arrives to shape our character. It transforms us from self-absorbed to God-centered... if we choose to move toward rather than away from Him.
We become pliable through trust and willingness to suffer when God allows hardships and pain to come our way. We harden our hearts by blaming God, resenting his lack of intervention, or turning away in fear from uncontrollable experiences.
Do we trust him enough to let go of everything but his loving hand as we ride the tsunami of life?
Posted by http://peacefulones.blogspot.com