“God is more concerned about our spirituality than our comfort” came to mind during Sunday’s message about the purpose of our struggles. At first, I wasn’t anymore thrilled about the sermon than I had been the quote. After all, I just want to be happy.
I contemplated only writing light-hearted, fluffy posts. You know, so I’d be known as the happy-go-lucky blogger, but, then, I didn’t have much to say about that.
Next, I contemplated asking for prayer so I’d be more happy-go-lucky, but God didn’t have much to say about that.
Finally, I contemplated what God did have to say and it wasn’t about happy-go-lucky, although I’m sure he has nothing against our happiness. It’s just that, from what I keep hearing, our priorities are often times not his priorities.
The sermon and the quote offered insight into our suffering and an explanation as to why we don’t need to run from it or pray it away, even though I continue to try both. We’re supposed to be changed by it.
God’s obvious concern about my changing over the past nine years has left me wondering if he had concerns for anyone else’s spirituality, but of course he does. He has big plans for us all, even though I’ve been focused on the pain that I equate with God’s punishment. Painful events have led to painful thinking.
Suffering, however, is not about punishment, although it is sometimes a consequence as the result of our behavior. Suffering is a mirror into which we catch a glimpse of what’s inside of us. No, Facebook doesn’t cut it.
Suffering is for our own good and for a higher purpose. Our time here is designed to help us stop edging God out (ego) and, instead, start edifying him. Unfortunately, most of us are hard headed and some of us are hard hearted.
What gushes out during the tough times is what’s been inside all along. Usually it’s a combination of love and fear, grace and griping, humility and entitlement, meaning we all need the changing power of suffering.
What are you suffering through? How is it changing you?
WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Here’s to graciously walking through our suffering and being changed from fluffy-seeking to faith-finding.
On the side: Beth Vogt also wrote a blog post this week about suffering. Click here to read In Others’ Words: Wrestling Match.