Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Theology of Suffering

Yesterday I sat in a membership class for church and there is one thought I cannot escape: A theology of suffering.


That's right, we were encouraged to process how we view and think about suffering in our lives. And the reality is.... I don't. I ignore it. I curse it and move on. I see God as someone outside of that. Of course He wouldn't let me suffer. He loves me. He only works for my good. And "my good" only comes from the beautiful, the victorious, the all-put-together-no-coloring-outside-of-the-lines kind of reality, right?

Ohhh I wish...

The truth is as I was reminded yesterday, Jesus invites us into His suffering. We are told in Matthew 20:23 that we will indeed drink from His cup. The cup of wrath, of hurt, of pain. And He meets us there.

Yes, some day we will dance to a new rhythm as we discover a new reality- a place of no pain, no sin, no struggle. A day when the Church, His beloved, His bride, is at once reunited with her Creator.

Until then, I am trying not to run from every painful experience.

In the words of one of the pastors at my church-

"Most of us often tend to think of our spiritual journeys as God directed adventures until something goes seriously wrong or until certain problems persist past the time we have given God to take them away. For too long we have been motivated by a solution-focused, make-it-work culture. When life gets tough, we think more about solving the problems rather than finding God in the midst of our problems. As a result, we end up focusing more on using God to improve our lives than on worshipping Him in any and every circumstance. And we end up regarding each other as projects that have problems that need to be fixed."

May we journey through this together as the body of Christ. Suffering, like celebration, is not meant to be travelled alone.

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