3 lies about suffering

I don’t know what it is about dates.

As human creatures we are hard wired to acknowledge anniversaries and build memorials.  We can’t let the date just change to the next day without remember the last time we passed by this way.  What was it like then?

It’s the magic of the Timehop App, and the genius of journals and the heart behind the command to build piles of stones in the wilderness: that we would mark and remember and consider.

A few weeks ago, I woke up on a 5th.  It was the 12th time that number had popped up on my calendar since last December.  It has been a year of 5th’s since one of the hardest days of my life.

Three years ago

Three years ago today I wrote these words:

I have friends who are like family to me and they’re moving to the other side of the world for the sake of the Gospel.  They don’t just say they believe in Jesus and His mission.  They have sold their house and all their possessions and, with their 5 month old baby in tow, they’re running full speed to a pretty dangerous place.

Wronged by Jesus

I had coffee with a friend a few weeks ago who is feeling a little failed by God.  She’s been praying for God to do something (a super awesome glorifying thing) for awhile, and He hasn’t done it.  She knows the right answers, but the question is quivering in her heart: why has Jesus refused this request?

I just wrapped up a class on singleness, and I could hear the whisper of a similar cry threaded through the comments we received: why has Jesus done this?  Why has He given us desires He won’t satisfy?  Why does it feel like He set us up to fail?

Two things I don’t thank God for

I like this Thanksgiving thing. I like the idea of specific days when you remember and reflect and consider and thank.

I always start my thanksgiving in the usual obvious place: being thankful to God.  I thank God for all that He has given to me, for all that He has done in me; through me.

You know what I realized this morning as I was reading Luke 22?  There are a couple of things I don’t tend to thank God for:

  1. I don’t tend to thank Him for the painful conviction and broken repentance that followed the moments when I denied Him and exchanged Him for the fleeting pleasures of this world.

When faith fails to fix

Maybe it’s my age, or maybe it’s my sanctification, or maybe it’s the end of the freaking world (here’s hoping), but whatever the case: suffering is in the water.

And all around me I hear confusion. Confusion about the marriage of tears and faith.  Confusion about the intersection of pain and trust.  Confusion about the gray area between grief and the Gospel.

Most of my generation cannot cope with the discomfort of ‘negative’ emotions.  We’ve been bubble wrapped from unpleasant feelings and as a result, we have no tolerance for them.  We fix them any way we know how.