Timothy Keller begins Chapter 8 (“The Reason for Suffering”) of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering with the assertion that suffering is at the heart of the Christian faith. Suffering is the way Christ became like us and redeemed us, but it is also one of the essential ways we become like Christ and experience His redemption.
Pastor Keller shares the story of “Greg”, an assistant college professor whose wife left him for another man, taking their two young children with her. “Greg” incurred great legal expenses successfully gaining custody of his children. As a single parent with a low-paying, full-time job, he had little hope of completing the book on which his academic career depended. At this point, his church and family rallied around him.
“Greg” noted that in the middle of many operas the main character sings a sad and moving solo that turns sorrow into something beautiful:
“This is my moment to sing the aria. I don’t want to, I don’t want to have this chance, but it’s here now, and what am I going to do about it? Am I going to rise to the occasion?”
Pastor Keller then lists three benefits of suffering:
1. People who persevere through suffering become more resilient.
2. Suffering strengthens and deepens nurturing relationships.
3. Suffering changes priorities and can lead people to turn to God.
Today’s question: Are you at that point in your healing, transformational journey where you can “sing the aria”? What has been instrumental in getting you to that point? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A perfect fit”