There is an Everest of anguish in this world and it just keeps growing. Think of the enormity of pain that the human race is collectively bearing up under! 7 Billion people..each one trying to cope. Every single one of us is born into guaranteed anguish. Violent crimes are everywhere. Inhuman monsters massacre, torture, rape and behead. Predatory perverts prey on children and babies. Then there are disasters, death, cancer, miscarriages, betrayal, humiliation, trauma….Think of the enormity of it!
And all these heartaches…where do they go? What does the world do with it all? Well, if it doesn’t mess them up psychologically…they try to move on and get time and distance between them and their hurt. In the end all the pain gets heaped up in to great putrid piles of utter loss and despair. “Crap happens,” they say. You know, I don’t blame them for saying that. There is nothing much else to hope for when God is not part of their equation. Nothing can be redeemed. The Redeemer is denied. All those countless tragedies are indeed utter loss. Satan chuckles. He has accomplished his desire to keep mankind focused on himself..while simultaneously destroying him.
I am absolutely convinced that there is no greater way to Glorify God than through suffering, trials and tragedies.
Jesus’ greatest act on earth was not a sermon or a miracle. Jesus’ greatest act was found in horrific suffering. A cross. Remember, now that He’s our ultimate example. He stared his own gruesome death in the face and dared to believe that God would actually take the chaos and tragedy of it and work it out for good. No, even more than that! Jesus believed that God would use his own death for far greater good than if it had never happened at all. True or False? I’d say he made the right choice didn’t he? Of course, that choice did not come easily. We remember how he agonized about that decision, it came with anguish….until, finally, alone in that garden he blurted out…“not my will but thine”
If it cost you so much, why in the world would you forfeit a positive return on that if it were at all possible?
Lets say you had a million dollars and it was all stolen one night. No investment firm in the country would even look sideways at you any more. God would! Don’t believe me? Read the book of Job. God is a redeemer!
Here’s the catch: God only redeems tragedy for those who Love Him and are called according to his purposes. These type of people are seeking God’s kingdom and Glory first, not their own comforts. They’ve relinquished their rights and say as Jesus did “not my will but Thine God.”
Few things infuriate Satan more than when God takes what was meant for evil and multiplies it for good. Its beautiful. That’s why we are called “more than conquerers.” Its liberating!
Don’t waste the heart ache next time. Don’t add your pain to the Everest. Your cross is the greatest opportunity to see God glorified. A servant is not greater than his master. Jesus did it. Don’t expect a better path for yourself.
I had been thinking about sharing this post for quite some time. I’ve been waiting specifically for today though. This day marks the day 6 years ago when it pleased God to run his plough deeply through my wife and I. Our son Caleb passed away while we were on the mission field in West Africa.
Initially, I was infuriated with Satan. Caleb was born at the same missionary hospital I was. I had been born a month premature just like him yet he died and I lived? Why?! And why did I have to bury him on my own birthday?!! The ironies were enormous. It seemed as if Satan was openly mocking and jeering as I carried Caleb’s tiny casket to the graveside. In fact, I’m quite convinced he actually was. Every fibre of the warrior in me was enraged! I wanted to extract revenge on Satan or die trying. He was going to wish he had never done what He did.
That raw and unfiltered rage softened with time and God used it. He guided me into to my own Gethsemane experience with Him. God asked me if I could trust him with my son. He asked me to give Caleb to him like a grain of wheat planted in the soil of Africa. He said…unless a grain of wheat goes into the ground and dies..it will remain..but if it dies it will produce a harvest. So I buried my son in a firm and hopeful expectation of a harvest. And yes, Satan will wish many times over he didn’t do what he did. I’ve also made it my personal goal to squeeze and wring out every last thing that God wanted to teach me personally from the experience. The cost was simply to high to waste.
Your pain comes at far to high a cost to waste.
But it will be a waste, if you do not truly love God and you do not obey his calling.
For more on the topic of hardship and suffering have a look at this post