STRONG WHEN WEAK
I have been reading the book “The Road Less travelled “by Scott peck lately. He writes on dedication to reality and puts our view of reality like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life. Says the less clearly we see the reality of the world , the more our minds are befuddled by false hood, misperceptions and illusions . That hit me because I am guilty of picturing a world without suffering. A world with no pandemics , no violence , no racism , exactly what God created at first.
Everyone has a lens through which they see the world. Stephen Covey puts it as a paradigm in “The 7 habits of highly effective people”. A theory , an explanation or model of something . Of course , all of us picture a suffering-less world with utmost genuineness. No one wants to go through another 2020 , or another post election violence. Trust me , I can never wish to go back to hospital for monthly injections because of the heart condition I had . NEVER. The reality is, however , so different . Whatever you try to avoid most usually finds you. Suffering is part of the worldly system . Pandemics , road accidents , hunger , land slides , bush fires , chronic illnesses , violence etc. They form the every day reality of this world
There is always the question on why we have to suffer , toppled with “If God is that good , then why does He allow all this suffering?’ . It’s a question I have received a couple of times from people who were going through a certain fire in their life . Christians especially , will ask why we have to suffer when we are born again . I find all these questions genuine , sometimes . We all have had our faith shaken by something and that is perfectly fine . What we do through that period , however , determines everything .
The word Christian comes from the name “Christ”. A Christian is someone whose behavior and heart reflects Jesus Christ. Followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” in Antioch. They were called “Christians” because their speech and behavior were like Christ. Their mentality was that of Jesus Christ .
The life of Jesus was not easy at all . Here is a man who was born in the most difficult circumstances ever and immediately got red-flagged by the king. Here is a man who was rejected at his own home town while his teachings got red-flagged by the Pharisees and teachers of the law all the time .A man who was tortured mercilessly and put to the cross just because of the sins of the world . That wasn’t easy and it proves that our lives will also not be a smooth ride.
Being a Christian means we live like Jesus. He went through ups and downs , so will we , sometimes . There will be chronic illnesses on the way , just like leprosy was a huge deal back then . There will be the good days and there will be the bad days. After all , He Never Promised It Would Be Easy . He didn’t give us a simple path; He didn’t tell us exactly how to navigate our days. There is nowhere in the Bible where Jesus said that life will be a smooth ride once we get born again or follow him .
Of course , sometimes we do suffer because of our lack of knowledge , our own disobedience , to purify and test our faith, because of the word , and in many cases , just because we live in a world full of sin . There are so many reasons why there is suffering in the world , all documented perfectly , with examples , in the Bible .
Let me just focus on one reason today . We suffer , not because of our own doing , but so that the works of God might be displayed in us . No one has cursed you , there is nothing from your past , as people sometimes claim , that has caused your current troubles . It’s not even your parents . Absolutely no one .
9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
The man was blind for a very specific reason . He probably spent his life thinking that someone did something wrong that led to his blindness . But Jesus confirms that it was not him , or his parents .
Jesus , at another place tells his disciples , 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 9
Joyce Meyer , while writing on suffering , says , Understanding the reason for our suffering and having the assurance of the final glory we’ll share should make it a little easier to enjoy our lives…even during the times of sharing in suffering.
God never said that our days would be open and filled with light and love. That we’d fall into people and they’d always love us back. Jesus was rejected at his own home town . He never said that we’d never experience loss, or failure, or death, or pain. He never said that things would always go our way, that we would always know where to go, that our road would be smoothly-paved and bump free. He never said that we would win every race with zero effort .
The promise was that He would be forever standing by our side, forever carrying us through the tough patches, forever arms outstretched leaning towards in. What He did say was that in every season of brokenness, He would bring us hope, strength, and truth. He was the fourth man in the flame when Daniel’s three friends were thrown into the fire . He was there watching Job go through trials , with his mind on the glory attached to that pain . He was there strengthening Jesus when he was feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders as he was about to die for our sins.
We will be challenged, for sure, shaken, and exhausted by the weight of the world. But we will never be alone. That is the beauty trusting God . It is clearly knowing that the road will have bumps , sharp corners , thorns and everything to slow us down or to stop our movement , but knowing the end of the road is perfect. Knowing that there is a good plan somewhere , even when we can’t see it .AMEN
I always leave you with a song that resonates with the article so here is Lean Back , performed by Amanda Lindsey Cook and Chandler . It’s a song for every season . A prayer to lean back to His loving arms through the rough moments.
There is also a song I love by Christina Shusho. Shusha Nyavu , from the story of Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish .
Thank you for passing by. I hope you enjoyed reading this . Remember to follow me on my various social media handles , and subscribe to my little Youtube channel . God bless you