In Chapter 9 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller describes four ways God uses our suffering to remove our weaknesses and build us up. The first two ways are discussed today.
1. Suffering transforms our attitude toward ourselves. Adversity humbles us, removing our pride and unrealistic self-regard. Because we tend to have extremely unrealistic ideas of how much control we have over our lives, we feel helpless and out of control when suffering comes. In reality, Pastor Keller states, we’ve always been vulnerable and dependent on God.
Suffering also tends to bring out the worst in us, so our desert, Land Between time presents and excellent opportunity to examine ourselves and discover our weaknesses. This enables us to get out of our denial and work on our problem areas.
2. Suffering will profoundly change our relationship to the good things in our lives. We will come to understand that some worldly things have become too important to us. For example, the author states that the devastation of adversity brings feelings of real loss and grief. At the same time, we may come to see that the magnitude of our suffering is due to the excessive weight we’ve put on our ministry or vocation status. Placing more hope and meaning in God brings new, previously untapped resources of joy.
Todays question: How has your vocation loss transformed your attitude and/or your relationship to worldly goods? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “Groundhog Day- all over again!”