Let’s be honest – none of us like to go through difficulties. Or to word it another way, we do not want to suffer. We will do whatever we must to avoid it. For instance,
Danny has a bad cold tonight.
So what are some of the things I have I said to him?
- “Don’t come near my face. I do not want to get sick.”
- “Don’t touch the computer keyboard. I don’t want your germs all over it.”
- “Can you breathe the other direction?”
In other words……
I do not want to get sick. I have too much to do this week. Places to go. I do not want to suffer. There I said it.
Suffer….to undergo or feel pain or distress; to sustain injury, disadvantage, or loss; to endure pain, disability, death (from dictionary.com).
Difficulty or suffering always seems to take us by surprise. We almost tend to think we should be immune to it. Yet Scripture tells us something entirely different:
”Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering.” (1 Peter 4: 12, 13 NLT).
We should not be surprised at suffering. It is what develops a partnership with Christ. In “My Utmost For His Highest”, Oswald Chambers explains the purpose of difficult experiences:
“They are designed to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of others.”
It is through these very experiences that we gain understanding. With understanding comes the ability to feel compassion towards others. As we offer comfort to others, we develop relationship with them through Christ. We form deep bonds of connectivity & support which pleases God.
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 NLT).
No, I still do not want to suffer. But through the things I experience & suffer, may I become an agent of God’s comfort. It is what pleases Him. It is what brings Him praise.
Now to go get the Nyquil & make sure Danny is most comfortable.