Yesterday, I copied and pasted for you the breathtaking comment some anonymous reader wrote here days ago. The photo above is edited to include some of her words.
Lately, the ideas of patience and pain have danced intimately through my mind, and my spirit laughs, “Yes, yes! THIS is what Christianity is like!”
Our faith is full of apparent contradictions… of yin and yang.
- We lose our lives to save them (Lk 17:33).
- We boast in our weaknesses, because that’s where Christ is strong in us (2 Cor 12:9-10).
- God/Jesus conquered death by letting death first conquer Him (1 Cor 15:55-56).
- We rejoice in our sufferings; it’s the suffering that leads to our hope! (Rom 5:3-5)
But I know. It stinks to hurt and wait.
Uncertainty is maddening.
Televangelists would have us believe that Jesus brings health, wealth, and prosperity. Yet our personal experience tells us this isn’t true, and children’s fairy tales show us we wouldn’t want this to be true. No worthwhile happy ending comes without a preceding conflict.
The health, wealth, and prosperity gospel breaks my heart because it is missing the richness and complexity that makes life in Christ stunning.
Light and shadow create art.
Conflict and resolution make story.
And God is not going to let His children float through life without feeling what it means to be tossed by a wave. It’s by being shaken that we find joy in the only One unshakable.
Our sweet Savior Jesus, HE is a mind boggling contradiction.
He’s the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who has conquered the world…
He is the Lamb Who was Slain. He was conquered so we wouldn’t be.
And we’re invited to be like Christ, sharing in His complexities, in His glories, and in His sufferings. (Rom 8:17)
Jesus never intended to give us a pain-free life on this planet, but He did invite us to live a profoundly beautiful one.
I don’t know about you, but the most awe-inspiring praises I’ve ever seen came from the mouths of the suffering, who praise God through the pain… even thank Him for it.
I’d rather my life hurt and inspire God-awe than coast and inspire yawns.
In Christ, the Lion and the Lamb lie down together…
… and in Christ, patience, pain, and praise dance joyfully in our hearts.
Today was Day 12 of