8.19.2014

obedience through suffering

I have been reading Bob Goff's book "Love Does." If you have not read it, I recommend it! It's a quick read and I guarantee you will laugh out loud. (Especially if you are familiar with YoungLife!!) Something he said in chapter 8 really stuck out to me. Bob is telling the story of his collapsed wedding cake and correlates it to how we scoop up the pieces of our life that ended up on the floor and serve them up to Jesus. "It has always seemed to me that broken things, just like broken people, get used more; its probably because God has more pieces to work with" (Love Does). I had to read that a couple times to let that sink in. He later says, "[Jesus] also talked about everybody else and what He said to them is that we all could be used, not just when we're broken, but especially because we're broken."

Reading those words helped me to grasp that all is not lost when you feel lost.
There is a purpose to the pain and an end to the struggle.
And without being broken, it's really hard to relate to others.

The latest voyage my idiot self decided was a good plan taught me a lot. But it hurt. Just like Bob Goff, I have lots of gravel bits and shards in the not so perfect wedding cake I call my life. It took a softened heart, a broken ego, and a humble spirit to accept the lessons I needed to learn.

I learned what compassion and forgiveness looks like.
I have learned how painful it is to be judged - which makes me very cautious to judge others.
I understand that Jesus is enough and He fills every need.

I have struggled with the concept of how Jesus understands each circumstance I have struggled through. Some struggles come with specific scripture... many do not. But Romans 4 tells us that we can go boldly to the throne because He does understand.

Even Jesus learned obedience through his suffering (Romans 5:8). That doesn't mean he sinned. No, it means he was tempted with all the essential aspects of sin such as lust, greed, unforgiveness, and dishonesty. He gets it.

And now, I think I get it. I have a more willing heart. I'm ready to serve and speak life to others who have been as low as I have been. To offer compassion and a non-judgmental shoulder to cry on.

It's hard to understand, better yet accept, difficult lessons. But thank you Lord for asking us to walk through them. You promise you never leave us in those valleys and you make us better vessels for your gospel through it.

If I need to be chiseled to better reflect you, then Lord, chisel away.

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