Friday, February 8, 2013

Glory on Display

What if our suffering was meant to be more than just enduring?
What if our pain was supposed to lead to His praise?
What if our brokenness was meant to display God’s glory?

I can’t get through the book of Job without believing there is more. I can’t read through this book without asking that question.

I write this in light of remembering the sting of death.
I was 19 and crazy and living a typical party girl college life when my father died suddenly and unexpectedly.
And it turned our whole world upside down.
I don’t think that happened just to sober me up and make me rethink how I was living.
It happened so I would know Christ.
Because it’s in pain that we meet God.

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him . . . that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings" (Philippians 3:8-10)

I write this in light of experiencing the heartache of infertility.
I don’t think I am experiencing this just to hurry through it, just as the Israelites weren’t wandering in the wilderness to hurry to their destination. The LORD had them (and has us) wander for a purpose . . . to be humbled, to depend on God, to deepen our relationship with Him, and see Him in a new way.
Because it’s in the wilderness that we are humbled to hunger for God and look to Him for guidance.

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” (Job 42:5)

I write this in light of ministering to my neighbor who recently became a widow and a single mom of a 6 & 3 year old. When I stand at her doorway as she is weeping asking why and searching for the reason, I look at her to say “there is a reason friend . . . we just may not see it with certainty this side of heaven. But I can say with certainty there is a God beyond our understanding who loves you more than you know.”
Because it's in the unknown, we search for Him.

Because in reading Job, in experiencing my own pain, and walking through it with others, I know that this is true of the LORD
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
 and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I know that like Job we can’t see the WHY.

He didn’t know about the conversation between God and Satan. He didn’t know that his reward for faithfulness and righteousness would be suffering.

But . . . he.did.know.God.

And I can’t help but think of the lesson here. When we don’t understand the WHY, do we look to HIM? The One who formed you in your mother’s womb? The One who numbered the days of your life? (Psalm 139) Do we seek Him, depend on Him, and grow deeper with Him?

I think that’ s the only way we can “rejoice in our sufferings” as James 1 tells us to do.

We can rejoice in our sufferings because our suffering brings us closer to Christ. Our suffering helps us know HIM in a deeper way. Our suffering helps us to lay down our Kindgom and pray for His Kingdom.

Suffering helps us, just as it helped Job, to grow up.

If the rest of our Christian life is really about becoming more and more like Christ, are we surprised when we encounter pain?

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

If this verse is true than we must believe that our pain is meant for more.
Our pain is meant to grow us up.
Our pain is meant to display His glory.

So . . . go ahead LORD. Display your glory through my life. Shine your light so brightly through the broken parts of me that others might know You and be found in You.


  1. I see Jesus in you in the midst of your suffering. He is glorious. Keep writing.

  2. this is such an encouragement to me! thank you for sharing and faithfully following Jesus even when the journey is HARD. you are an example to me.