A Mini-Minute with Pam: What if Suffering Has a Purpose.
As humans, we naturally try to avoid any pain or suffering. We try to protect ourselves in numerous ways. We don’t walk on hot pavements with bare feet, We wear our seat belts. Since we don’t want the pain of disobeying the law and getting a ticket, we practice safe driving. We don’t go the wrong way down one way streets. We stop on red lights and go on green lights. We take care of our bodies. We stay hydrated in hot weather. We take our vitamins and try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Those are all things we can do to try to avoid pain.
But what if suffering and pain has a purpose?
What a strange thought. We try everything we can to avoid it, rather than look for purpose when it arrives at our front door uninvited. What if our Father God has a purpose in mind and what if Jesus modeled the way? Let’s meet an amazing lady…
Joni Earekson Tada
Author, painter, public speaker, and a quadriplegic. Her story is well known, but what she has to say to us, may be a bit difficult to hear. Joni is not a stranger to the world of suffering. She has learned obedience through what she has suffered. She gains her strength to endure through her other-worldly mindset.
Joni exhorts us to follow her lead, And to begin each day “needing God desperately”. Joni goes on to say that the “really handicapped people are those who don’t really know of their desperate need for God.”
Amazing! What a statement from one confined to a wheelchair, needing someone to assist her with everything she does!
Stop and think on that for a moment.
Absorb what Joni is saying. We go about our daily routines barely thinking of God. What if we consciously stopped to realize the gift that Joni is giving us by calling that to our attention. We DO need God for EVERYTHING WE DO, just like Joni. The only difference is that SHE realizes it and I fear that you, like me, go about our day without giving it a thought.
Hebrews teaches us that Jesus learned obedience through the path of suffering. Joni has learned that, too. What about you? What about me?
While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.
Hebrews 5:7-10 (The Message Bible)
Is there more? Yes!
Through Jesus’ reverent submission…”He became the Source of eternal salvation…” Jesus’ suffering made it possible for Joni, and for you, and for me, to endure suffering with a purpose, until we meet Him face-to-face. Amazing love. Love that gives us wisdom to understand the concept of the necessity to grasp the idea that we are truly beginning each day “needing God desperately”. It is in accepting that fact, that we are empowered to follow wherever He leads.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because having stood the test that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 (NIV)
He’s coming again. How is your relationship with Him? Are you ready?
Leave a comment below…
God bless you bunches!
Do you need encouragement in your walk with God?
Awaiting His shout,
Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor