Life is hard. People say it, but who really believes it? Especially an optimist like me. Ah, to be a pessimist and just KNOW that life is going to be hard, and expect it. The Bible says not to be surprised when painful trials come our way. But me? Totally shocked every time. Stunned, immobilized. Like my foundation has been rocked and where do I stand? If life just sucks and that’s just it, what’s the point?
Ah, grasshopper, you have much to learn. (Speaking to myself.)
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed…So then, those who suffer according to God’s will, should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” 1 Peter 4:12,13,19
“Present yourself a living sacrifice… for this is your reasonable service.” Rom 12:1
Seriously, with words like painful trial, sufferings, living sacrifice, how is it possible that I still think life will be basically good? Could it be? Could God ACTUALLY call a person to a ministry that knowingly hurts, a place that WILL cause suffering?
I remember a time in my life when things were so very wonderful, I worried that I would lose that closeness with God. I know that I need to need God. I am too self-reliant. I remember actually asking God to give me some challenges, some trial, to grow me and make me more useful. Yep, I seriously asked for that. Crazy right?! So here I am.
Friends are getting cancer, family members are dying. Life is hard. I italicize it because it hurts to even say it, I whisper it. It hurts to the core of my soul, my heart is damaged. There was a time it felt shattered. Now it is torn, bruised, a chunk gone that will be always missing. So what’s the point? Why bother? What’s life FOR?
In a world where every post and Facebook picture is about YOU taking control of YOUR life and only befriending those who make YOU feel good, because it’s all about YOU. You bet your socks that life is going to feel pointless. God made us for more than just serving ourselves and focusing on ourselves. Life HAS to be bigger than that.
What’s life for? Life is for serving God in a way that takes more than just what I have to give. It takes more than ME. Our purpose needs to be more than what I am comfy and feel-good doing. It has to be more than serving my greed, serving my selfish ambition, serving my pride.
- Life should be a challenge. Expect pain, expect suffering, grief, trials, learn to be a living sacrifice.
- Life is about more than the ministry, the suffering, what it’s for. It’s about Who it’s for- our Faithful Creator.
Those who suffer according to God’s will, should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:19
So what suffering is according to God’s will? I guess that depends on how much Sovereignty you believe God has. I did something according to God’s will, what God called me to do- Foster kids. I am suffering. So what’s next? Be immobilized to uselessness? It says, “Commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” Ahhh, I love the Faithful Creator. He made me special, just the way He wants me, optimist and all. He has a plan for me. It’s like a big hug. Now to continue to do good…