[This post is based on Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ session at The Gospel Coalition 6.23.12]
I’m a hater, (and I’m so glad that’s the first line of this blog post because it gives me an opportunity to share with you my current favorite image):
I come from a generation of spoiled and entitled listeners and learners. I want teachers to talk in a way that makes sense to me, and I’m tempted to believe the arrogant lie that I know what’s best for women.
May God forgive me.
At TGC, I had the pleasure of hearing Nancy Leigh DeMoss speak.
She and I are different. She’s older than me. Her outfit is put together and cute and her hair is put together and cute and her make-up is put together and cute. I am sitting here wearing jeans and a t-shirt. My hair is pulled into a knot and my face has nothing on it but freckles. Let me tell ya, there’s nothing put together and cute about this look I’m rocking.
I assumed that all these differences would mean that Nancy and I would speak different languages. I forgot that our God has very little interest in cookie-cutter creations, (and even if He did, I’m fairly certain the cookie cutter’s wouldn’t be in the shape of Fabs).
We’re so different, but Nancy Leigh DeMoss speaks deep truths with a gentle voice and I’m pretty sure she knows my Jesus way better than me. Time and life will do that to a person, and when I hear her speak it makes me long to press on and learn.
She’s shared with us about Peter’s longing for exaltation without humiliation. He wanted the glory of God, but he wanted to get to that destination by a different road than Jesus had planned. He wanted to find a way to get to glory without pain, but there’s no such road.
The path to exaltation is one littered with suffering.
Which, honestly, isn’t my favorite decision God’s ever made. I’ve failed. Humiliation feels terrible. It’s too unpleasant for me to embrace. Even though I know suffering is just a chapter, just a ‘season’ as Christians say, it always feels like it lasts far too long. Why does time seem to slow down when you’re hurting?
My friend Angela has an adorable 18 month old son. He has this tendency of having a melt down right as they enter their neighborhood. No matter how she explains to him that they’re almost home, Moses doesn’t understand. He’s uncomfortable. He has no perspective or sense of time so he panics.
Moses has been alive for around 780,000 minutes. I’ve been alive for around 15 million and 780,000 minutes. Of course, time is going to feel a little different to us both. One month is 5% of his life.
Suffering that lasts ten minutes is bearable to me because I know that in the scheme of things, ten minutes is nothing. But suffering that lasts a year is pushing it, and suffering that lasts ten years is too much. I just haven’t been around long enough to have a good sense of time.
Thousands and thousands of years from now, I will finally have a little more perspective. I will understand why Paul says that this light and momentary affliction is going to be totally out weighed by an eternal weight of glory. I will finally look at this life and see that it was really just a breath.
I want the kind of humility I saw etched in every cute and put together corner of Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ life. But humility is birthed from humiliation, and unless we’re willing to embrace that, we’ll never get where we want to go.
I don’t know what suffering you face today or that you will face tomorrow, but I know this: it will all be over soon. We’ll be home. And in a million years, I promise, you’ll be able to see how very slight and small this all is in the scheme of eternity. Lord willing.