Suffering well is hard to do. It is especially hard when you are a people pleaser by nature. And, I am finding, it is even harder sometimes when you are around other's who have never really suffered, even other Christians. I am finding that it is a lot like raising children~ everybody has their opinion on how you should be doing it. If I am not careful I find myself sinking to the expectations of those comments rather than holding on to the words of scripture.
I have found that some people really don't want you to suffer well. Not on the surface, or said out loud, but maybe suffering well takes them out of their comfort zone. Maybe, somewhere deep down inside, they think that if they consider the possibility of having to suffer in their own lives they don't want to know how to do it and then God can't or won't make them suffer. Aren't we a bizarre creation?
I have been reading 1st Peter the last couple of days and have been so refreshed in what God is doing in my life. Paul starts out by saying that we were chosen according to the foreknowledge of God, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ. Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example. He says that if we do suffer, we are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. We are to suffer with the same attitude of Jesus because as a result we quit living for ourselves and this world and rather live for the will of God. Boy, is that true!
One day we will give an account before God, even for how we trusted Him in suffering. We should not be surprised at the painful trials we suffer, but rather should rejoice that we participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that we may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. God's mighty hand will lift us up in due time. And the God of all grace, who called me to his eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself restore me and make me strong, firm and steadfast.
Aaahhhh. Things are put back into perspective. I can praise God for his sovereign work in my life. I can praise Him for Trent being in Heaven.
Along with the praise I have asked God that I won't forget Trent. How odd that sounds. But after only four months you do start to forget. There are already little things that Rob remembers and I don't. The phrases he used, the memories of him answering the phone and asking to go fishing every night, not getting out 7 plates anymore. It is all getting too normal.
And more rambling thoughts that have been going through my brain as I have considered the life of Job. I wonder how we must have looked to God, or even to Satan, before the accident. Stepping aside from God's sovereignty (not denying it, just looking outside of it to what we know here and now)~ were we living "Job's" that made us a target for suffering? Were we that risky to the kingdom of the enemy that we were pointed out? Was it asked permission to test us by taking what we loved so much in this world to see if God really was the highest value in our lives? Are you a living Job that you stand out as a target? Will we suffer well as Job did and not deny our God, but rather praise Him in all that He does?
I pray that we will be, even amongst the friends and family and multitude of watcher's as we strive to walk this walk trusting our Savior. I long to stand before Jesus one day and have nothing to be ashamed of, but rather to have trusted and believed Him every single step of the way.