At church, Matt often talks about suffering well. Everyone faces hardships, that is certain, but as Christians, we have the ability or the opportunity to not just face it and endure, but to find joy in hardship and bring God glory. Whoa!!
That is what I'm after - suffering well. Trusting God. Not reaching or grasping or struggling through choppy waves for happiness, but resting in his deep well of joy. I don't know if this is biblical or not so maybe one of you seminary kids can check this, but I don't think anywhere in scripture am I promised happiness. I am for sure not promised an easy life. But ... I can rest in this promise: joy is one of the fruits of the spirit. JOY! Deep joy that is found in knowing and believing in my savior, who works everything together for his glory, and our joy in him.
My heart hurts, but is not broken. Every day his mercy is new, and fresh in my life. Sometimes it's moment by moment. But ... I trust him.
This to me is the epitome of suffering well: Last weekend I met an elderly woman at a snow cone stand who was buying one for her daughter. My friend asked if she was having a good day, to which she honestly replied, "No, not really." I went over and talked to her, and found out her daughter is in hospice with a baseball-size tumor in her brain. She asked her mother to bring her a snow cone, as one of her last requests before she died. Oh man, was I tearing up! I have thought of that woman and her daughter many times since, and have prayed for Becky many times. The old woman had lived many years and I'm sure has seen many other trials, and yet she kept walking.
Daughther with a tumor? Cancer at 23? Now that's suffering. The season I'm going through - only temporary. I will still laugh and enjoy my friends and work at my job and rejoice in the Lord both now and in days to come.
I will keep walking, all the while praising the one who gave me life and breath, a mind to think, and a heart to feel sorrow and joy.