For those that know me, I am an insane rule-follower. I am a task-oriented person, a total overachiever, and I hate for anyone to think I have failed at something. With all of that, it is very easy for me to slip into legalism with faith. But, with the help of my freedom loving husband, I have stretched out of my legalism a lot more over the last year and a half.
I’ve always been one to exclaim to people looking for advice about what to do in a possible sinful situation, that plainly put, God loves obedience. And, when you don’t want to be obedient, you just do it anyways. Pray for your heart and attitude to align with your actions and God always seems to bless it.
But, then comes the issue of suffering.
I can easily say without hesitation or questioning of myself (which I tend to do a lot, thanks to my overachiever-ness) that I have walked more dark valleys than I have sung from the mountaintops. I could list everything out and make you feel bad for me, but that’s pathetic and not the point I want to focus on. But, I would like to say, with God’s help, for the most part, I clung to the Lord in the nasty times and have remained obedient. Even when, time after time, the suffering that I have found myself in has been nothing that I could even remotely control. And, believe me, I have majorly screwed up before, but I’m talking in general here. And, I’m not talking about the kind of suffering that’s because of a consequence to my own sin. It’s interesting how quickly people will proclaim their life as hard, but really it’s just different consequences to different sins they have found themselves in. I am not saying consequences are easy, they stink, BAD. But, they are also expected and simply make sense for a just and fair God.
The kind of suffering I am talking about now, is the kind where you’ve “done everything right” (quotations because, of course we are imperfect and will absolutely never do everything right), but things still go south. The kind of suffering that makes absolutely no sense when written on paper. The kind where there just isn’t a dang reason for it, yet, just like Job’s friends in the Bible, everyone tries to come up with an excuse for why it has happened…”well, God must be trying to teach them this…” “well, they must have committed this sin…” “well….well….well….”
There are some days, over the last three months, where I have been overwhelmingly honored that the Lord would allow me to endure this trial. He has deemed John and I worthy and able to handle this terrible amount of heartache. He knew how we’d react. He knew I would cry and cry and cry for months. But, yet, He knew that some how, some way, we could make it through this and that He would receive glory out of this. Oh, how on these days, I pray that the Lord would always count me worthy of suffering to bring more fame to His name!
But, then I have days, like yesterday, where I cry to my husband how, “It just isn’t fair!”. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have whispered, uttered, moaned, cried, and flat out screamed that over the last 3 months. Then, I say things like, “My whole life, whenever things messed up around me, I still gave glory to God. I never ran from Him, even when it felt like He didn’t like me because of all the bad things happening. I did things right, the way you were supposed to, and here we are. This just isn’t fair!! I don’t know that I can keep ‘doing everything right’; this wasn’t supposed to happen.” And, yesterday, as I tried to fall asleep for a nap, I was quiet. I was still. And, the Lord spoke to me…
(no, not audibly…maybe more on that later)
“Jesus did everything right. And, what happened to Him, just wasn’t fair. But, He walked through it anyways. And, because of it, the world has never been the same. YOU have never been the same”
There was such a comfort at that. He really did. He did it all right. And, you know what? What happened, just wasn’t stinkin’ fair. But, there was more glory to God than ever given before.
Thank you, Father, for considering me worthy over and over again to bring glory to You.
“…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” Phil. 3:10
“Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5:41, 42