As Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 9 of Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, he states that in order for suffering to lead to growth, we must be prepared in our mind and heart before it strikes so we can face that suffering patiently and faithfully. Pastor Keller adds that these lessons are very difficult to “learn on the job”- that is, in the midst of adversity. He cites theologian Michael Horton from his book A Place for Weakness:
“Understanding who God is, who we are, and God’s ways in creation, providence, and redemption- at least as much as Scripture reveals to us- is to the trials of life what preparing for the LSAT is to the practice of law. Theology is the most serious business. Preparing for this exam is not just a head game. . . . It’s a matter of life and death. . . . It’s about living, and dying, well.”
When people are shocked that they’re suffering at all, suffering is intensified greatly. We’re all subject to the curse of sin. Timothy Keller emphasizes that we should expect not to understand all God’s ways. Since we don’t always understand other human beings fully, we certainly cannot comprehend God’s infinite majesty and wisdom.
Today’s question: In what way(s) were you prepared for the devastation of your ministry downsizing or vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “It’s all in the game”