Faith-Lift Friday

I've posted before that I have struggled a lot this year with the subject of suffering...especially the suffering of children. Today's devotion from My Utmost for His Highest was really convicting. Here are a few quotes:

"Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God's will--even if it means you will suffer--is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God's will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not. And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint's life."

"The saint who satisfies the heart of Jesus will make other saints strong and mature for God. But the people used to strengthen us are never those who sympathize with us; in fact, we are hindered by those who give us their sympathy, because sympathy only serves to weaken us."

"Look at God's incredible waste of His saints, according to the world's judgement. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places...God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be."

We would certainly never have chosen any of the sufferings we have experienced in the past few years. And yet, God has worked immeasurably in our lives through them. Through most of those sufferings, I was able to say that I would have chosen, had I been able to, to go through it all again, knowing what I know now about what God has done in our lives through it. This past year, though, I've wavered on that. If I could go back in time, change the circumstances that led us to this place, and erase the suffering that has come about because of it, would I? There have been many times in the past year when I have said, most assuredly, yes, I would. And yet as I think of what God has taught us, how much closer even our children have grown to Him and how they have grown precisely because of the suffering they have gone through, I realize that I am glad that God in His wisdom does not allow us to make that choice.

Watching my children suffer, because of a situation they have no control over and which they are completely unable...as are the adults in their lives...to understand, has been heartbreaking. But I have already seen that God is getting glory through the very circumstances that have brought such pain, and through the suffering that has accompanied them. How I would love, as a mother, to be able to wipe away the suffering just as I wipe away their tears. But what a reminder in the quote above..."And no saint should ever dare to interfere with the lesson of suffering being taught in another saint's life."

As a mom...and as a wife, a friend, a daughter...I have a tendency to want to *fix* things. I want to be able to rid my little world of suffering. I want to make everyone *feel better*. And yet, I have to remember that in trying to do those things, I may be doing more harm than good to the loved ones who are going through suffering. I don't think, at all, that that means we are not to offer comfort. The Bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. We are to help bear one another's burdens, and part of that is offering comfort when it is needed. But I needed this reminder today that I must be careful in trying to comfort and encourage, that I do not get in the way of God and His work.

How wonderful to know, however, that no matter what kind of suffering we are experiencing, if we are in His will...He *will be* glorified through that suffering. And He is working through it to refine us and make us more like Him.

See more Faith-Lifts here.


sheryl said...

Beautiful post!
Sometimes it's hard to discern the line between helping someone in need and interfering w/God's plan...I was thinking of the Scripture (James 2:16) that basically reproved those who say they wishes someone well, but never extends a helping hand...yet, you have a point that we shouldn't try to interfere with God's plan in someone's life either. I think it's especially hard for us wives and mom's...because we are such "fixer's".
Thanks for a good to-chew-on post :)

Joyful Days said...

Deep thoughts! I've always loved Oswald Chambers. It's never a quick tidy fix to read his writing. It takes thinking and digging and finally action.

Words to ponder this weekend.

With prayers.


kel said...

I look back on the things my son has been through and treatments he endured to get to where he is, and I see all the lives he touched, and times that the doctors have shook their heads and said he shouldnt be doing this or that, he shouldn't be well, and it is a testimony to God's power. Even in the roughest times God was getting so much glory.

Joyful Days said...

I gave you a bloggy award over at my place.

Have a blessed day.

Lallee said...

Oh, I was going through my Friday Show and Tell comments~thank you very much BTW~and came to this post. I posted Sunday on this same devotional! I so enjoyed seeing it again through your eyes. You shared it so beautifully. I agree~Chambers is not saying we are not to comfort one another. While suffering may be ordained, God knows we live in a broken world. Even when Jesus knew he would 'fix' brokenness and conquer even death, He still wept at Lazarus' tomb. I can't describe what that means to me. So even Jesus weeps at our circumstances, knowing that in the end we will be made whole through His sacrifice. Blessings to you!

May I ask your permission to cross post to this post in my next devotional?