I recently re-discovered Tenth Avenue North’s album The Struggle. Many of their songs focus on making sense out of suffering. I’ve found myself thinking a lot about these lyrics in the past few weeks:
All I hear is what they’re selling me
That God is love, He’s isn’t suffering
And what you need is a little faith in prosperity
But oh my God I know there’s more than this
If You promise pain, it can’t be meaningless
So make me poor if it’s the price for freedom
I wonder sometimes how innocently I’ve believed the lie that what God wants most is for me to be happy. Of course in my head I know this isn’t true; although God loves me, what he wants most for me is my joy in becoming holy, in becoming more like Christ. But to follow Christ means to follow the way of suffering. So why am I alarmed, as Paul says, that I must suffer as well, whether it may seem big or small?
You promise pain; it can’t be meaningless.
And when life is good, what then? As I continue to feel better & return to “normal” life, how will I see things differently? How will I comfort others with the comfort that I myself have received from Christ?
This week I have found such comfort in knowing that Christ suffered just as we did, and can sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). I’ve found myself praying to understand more what it means that “to live is Christ.” Lord, let me draw my life from your life, my strength from your strength, my joy from your joy. Let me see that in You there is always enough, that my fears are based on a mentality of scarcity and lack. Let me see that in You there is always enough.
You do all things well.