February 4, 2009

Bad News

I've heard a lot of bad news lately, mostly job layoffs and deaths. These things make my heart really ache. It aches because I don't want my friends to hurt or suffer. I've noticed this tendency when thinking about my kids, too. I want them to have a life void of pain. The problem with this, is that I've elevated a painless life to some idolatrous level.

But I came across Hebrews 12:10 last week and my breath was almost taken away:

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

Woah! The God of the Universe allows us to experience His discipline that we might share in His holiness ... His otherness ... His perfection. Can it really be that God wants us to taste and experience His holiness? That blows my mind, humbles my heart, and strengthens my faith - all at once!

A light has been shed on my lame perspective on hardship, pain, and suffering. There is a God, I am not He. (As our pastor often used to say.) And He knows what He's doing; He's trustworthy in all circumstances, good and bad. And He proved His love for us by sending Jesus, His only son, to bear the punishment for our sin - sin like wanting a painless life for my friends and family more than I want what God has for them!

Suffering should not be made light of. Life here is hard. Curveballs life throws us often suck. I'm in no way wanting my friends and family to pretend they're happy-go-lucky in trying times. There is a place for crying out, "It shouldn't have to be this way!!!!" But, if you're one who finds yourself in these straights today, be assured that I'm praying that your faith would be strengthened as you truge forward. May God meet you, carries you, and changes you in times such as these. Take heart, my friend, in this world you'll have troubles, but Jesus has overcome the world! (John 16:33)

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