"Out of our pain we could heal our world."--Jennie Allen
It's not a proper bible study until someone cries!!! And I think we were all balling today. It was good for the soul and I could see God knitting our group closer together. Our group talks are totally confidential so I am only going to share what the book study talked about.
We are still studying the life of Joseph in Genesis chapter 37-39...in these chapters Joseph's brothers plot to kill him. Can you imagine being so jealous of one of your siblings that your jealousy turned to hatred and then turned to wanting to murder them? Thank goodness for Reuben, the only brother that stopped the murder of Joseph...instead the brothers throw him into a pit, sell him into slavery, and lie to their father Jacob and tell him that Joseph was killed by wild animals.
What stood out to me in those chapters was that the favoritism of a parent can cause a lot of damage to the whole family dynamic. We also saw that Reuben took the time to speak up for his brother and spared Joseph's life. Joseph's brother's meant to harm him, but God allowed Joseph to be thrown in the pit, to be sold into slavery to work in Potiphar's home, and to be put in prison for being falsely accused of sleeping with Potiphar's wife. Wherever Joseph was put...God prospered him....God met his needs....and other's around him saw something special in him. He found favor with all the men he met. Joseph's brothers meant to harm him but God used his suffering for good.
What did people see in Joseph during these times that made him stand out?
Did he complain during his struggle?
Did he whine?
Did he put up a fight?
Was he humble?
Was he confident that God would deliver him?
Did he have a positive attitude during his suffering?
Was he diligent in his work?
How do we respond in our suffering?Do we let it define us?
Do we complain, fuss, whine, pout?
Do we use the pain for God's glory?
Do we shine wherever he puts us?
Are we able to see the suffering as part of God's glorious plan?
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid.--Frederick BuechnerMany of you know that I am only about 6-8 weeks out before our 4th baby is due. I've been reading countless birth books because I am fearful this time around about the pain I will face during labor. My last 3 deliveries were all natural (one was a water birth) no interventions, no epidurals, no pain meds. But my last labor was 12 hours long and Micah was 9.2lbs. A very long labor, and a very big baby = a very frustrated mother. I wanted that pain and the suffering over. I kept looking at the clock and kept trying to be in control. I kept asking...why is it taking so long? I was so distracted by the pain and the suffering and I was so focused on being in control that I forgot rule number 1 in birth...surrender.
The quicker you surrender to the pain....the quicker you accept the suffering....you find you can bear it. You find strength to let go and surrender and you let God and your body take over and do what they are made to do. Isn't that so hard? To surrender to the pain? To realize it is not about you? To see that there is a bigger picture and perspective at hand? To see the purpose of the pain. And then you meet your baby...and the pain and suffering is forgotten.
God is able to take our pain, and our suffering and bright forth something beautiful if we will let Him be in control. He needs to be our all in all. He needs to complete us and fill us.
Bless the Lord O my soul,
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes...
Why God May Let us Suffer
1. Jesus is best known through suffering.
2. We get stronger.
3. We hurt for heaven.
4. Our lives could leave a mark.
So maybe the suffering we have gone through in our lives whether it be a divorce, loss of a job, death of a loved one, a sickness, a betrayal...whatever we have gone through, perhaps God can use that in our life to bless others and bring glory to God. Maybe our story can uplift someone else, maybe it makes us stronger to help others and bring people closer to God. Who knows what God can do!?