In my previous segment, I shared some thoughts on the meaning of suffering that we all experience at various levels.  In today’s post, I will remove the covering of some personal struggles I’ve battled with in recent weeks, which has kept my best Friend at arm’s length. This has been sadly to my loss. It is not easy to become vulnerable; yet do we not realize that we have a vulnerable God?

 

Jesus promised the Comforter (another Helper and Counselor—just like Himself) to come to us abide with us and console us in our suffering (John 14:16, 17, 26). But how does He do this?

 

Over the last few weeks, my wife and I have been visiting the crash site, where our daughter laid down her life on that fateful day in December. We have been planting some flowers, a rosemary and lilac bush. This has brought us some consolation.  However, as we walk through the grass to arrive at the location, it brings vividly to mind mixed emotions—anger, regret, deep sorrow, yet mingled with hope, courage and a resolved, more determined faith.  Questions nonetheless linger:  What is the meaning of all this? Where is the justice in such an irrational, even irresponsible act? How can any parent grapple adequately with the reality that his/her daughter, who had such great potential, such high goals and ideals, was such a blessing to so many—has now been cut down, like the mown grass?

Did not our loving heavenly Father also experience that tragic loss of His only Son--the Man of sorrows who was acquainted with our grief?  Could any mortal not recognize in the lightning flashes, the earthquake, the darkness—the anger, the wrath of an offended God as He watched His Son slip away?

In putting together Brianna’s website, many pictures have been scurried through, many precious memories have been recalled to mind and many tears continue to shed. The thought comes to mind, how much suffering can a human being endure? At times, the pit of self-pity and bitterness threatens to engulf my heart against the tender mercies and comfort of my Savior’s embrace. At times, grief brings us to tears and a period of weeping ensues.  But even here, my Saviour weeps with us and brings comfort at last to our breaking hearts. The words of an inspired author is quite fitting here: “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him…"Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.”  {DA 224.5}. Oh, what an honor, what divine love which continues to suffer in and with us in our suffering!

 

The temptation is very real some days, to let the cancer of bitterness take root. How easy it is to become bitter at God for this suffering He plunged us into, without our choice, as though it were God’s fault.  But then the Comforter brings the words of Jesus (the Living Word) to my remembrance and some passage of Scripture strengthens me.  Truly, God will be just (at last) and the justifier of you and me out of the faith of Jesus.  Praise God!

 

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So I ask, do you get upset at God, do you feel as though you’ve been unjustly dealt a blow, are you tempted to let bitterness spring up in your heart?  Well, I have good news:  God is even big enough to handle when we get upset at Him, even when we ‘shake our fists’ at Him—what are you doing to us, God?  He has the answer, but will you at last—listen to His still small voice?

 

I would love to hear from you if my thoughts have struck a similar cord in your heart and how you have dealt with it.  We can grieve together for we have an Elder Brother who is “not incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin.”  Hebrews 4:15 NET

The Sealing Touch Part II  –The Ministry of Suffering