When Jim lost his job last February my friend, Joe said, “This will be exciting!”
Hum… Exciting? The pain during suffering runs deep. How can it be exciting?
Do you doubt the goodness of God when you suffer?
Look with me at Mark 6:45-51
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd, the 5,000 they just fed. Look closely; it says, “made them.” Why? If you read on into this passage you learn that the disciples hearts were hardened, not in a rebellious way but in an unbelieving way.
Maybe they had preconceived ideas about what their king would look and act like when he came. Maybe this blinded them. Would it not be a loving thing for them to be able to see him as he really is? By sending them into the boat to weather a storm, they were given an opportunity to see Jesus in a new way, walking on water. How did this soften their hearts? I’m not totally sure but what he said to them did at least two things: reminded them of who he is and of their need.
Listen to his response to their fear in verse fifty and fifty-one, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid. And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. The disciples knew the Old Testament. They knew the story of God telling Moses to tell Pharaoh that “I AM” sent him. The storm scared them. Jesus reminds them he is bigger than a storm, he is God.
Suffering clears my vision. It momentarily peels away the trappings of creation and I see him. I want him. His presence becomes valuable, beautiful.. I desperately try to hold onto this and then the situation, the suffering lessens and my focus is distracted with the here and now.
Why is suffering exciting?
It reveals the beauty of Christ.
Be Thou My Vision