“As long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another, because this love is the resetting of a Body of broken bones.”- Thomas Merton
John Ortberg concludes Chapter 21 of The Me I Want to Be as he talks about the final three ways post-traumatic growth occurs.
2. Adversity can deepen relationships. Pastor Ortberg states suffering uniquely softens hearts and deepens friendships. Also, people experiencing deep grief develop a deeper appreciation for other people. They wake up to how much other people matter. John explains the relationship of love and hope to grief. He writes:
“Love is not simply something to be recovered from. Hope does not mean returning to happiness as soon as possible. God comes to us in our grief and shares it. In that shared grief, we find love.”
When God comes to us in our grief and shares that grief, it starts to mingle ever so slightly with hope.
3. Adversity can change your priorities about what really matters. Suffering accentuates the folly of chasing after temporal gods. As a result, the sufferer vows not to return to their previous way of life once things return to normal. However, the key to accomplishing change involves an active response to the Spirit’s work.
4. Adversity points us to the Hope beyond ourselves. When circumstances look bleak, Pastor Ortberg notes, it’s likely we’ll wonder if anything’s going up. Yes, John answers, the:
- chance to trust God in difficult circumstances
- prospect for modeling hope for a hope-needy world
- possibility of cultivating a storm-proof faith, because Biblical truths remain unchanged
In conclusion, John notes, God remains in the redemption business. Therefore, God “specializes in bringing something very, very good out of something very, very bad.”
today’s question: What broken bones has love reset for you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Dangerously noncompliant in a broken world”