Medicine of Suffering

I’ve been running. Running from pain and from waiting. It’s been exhausting, and I am weary. This kind of running isn’t teaching me endurance. It’s not strengthening me- it’s just weakening my heart and hardening my conscience.

Then this morning, I sat in my cozy house, nursing my coffee and watching the gentle snow fall.  I stopped running and soaked in the beauty instead of distracting myself with work or social media.

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I gazed at the Creator’s splendor and my Masterfully-Created heart thrilled at the gentle softness. I opened His Word, and started reading how His only Son struggled with the weight of suffering.

My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Matthew 26:38

Father, I’ve been in that dark place. I remember walking out of the hospital room, leaving my baby all alone on the big lonely bed, never to see him again. I remember the verdict and the grief it poured out on our lives. I remember feeling like death would be better than the awful sorrow that haunted our days and kept me lying awake at night.

The snow keeps falling, thicker now than before. And the words keep pouring out, mingling with tears.

I don’t feel that deep grief anymore, God. But I am sad and so angry that our lives are still on hold! I’m angry that a judge would claim an innocent man guilty. And I am angry at You for allowing this. Where’s the justice? Where’s Your compassion?

The hot tears are now falling as fast as the snow.

I hate this! I hate this life of waiting! I hate it!!

I’m silent now, exhausted by my outburst. My eyes wander back to Matthew and the words of Jesus sear into my heart.

You will all be offended and stumble and fall away because of Me this night (distrusting and deserting Me)…

I lean back with the warm mug nestled in my hands and my heart gives a lurch as I realize the truth.

I don’t trust You, God. I don’t trust that You’ll work good. And, I’m afraid. I’m afaid that You won’t allow vindication, or take care of me.

I read on, to the intense struggle Jesus faced as He prayed, and how His own closest friends couldn’t stay awake. Never mind that Jesus pleaded with them to keep watch. They had no idea that He was facing the most terrible hours of His life. All they knew was that it was late and they were tired.

And then it’s as if God takes a highlighter and highlights the next verse for me.

Again, a second time He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass by unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

It cannot pass by unless I drink it…Your will be done…

Surrender. Jesus was willing to surrender His life for His Father’s Will.

But He knew the resurrection, my heart protested. He knew the whole picture. He knew the beauty that was to follow.

And just as quickly, the Spirit led. So do you. You know God promises to redeem and restore you!  You know He promises to make all things new! (Isaiah 43:1) And remember Romans 8:28? And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Jesus still had to surrender. He had to drink the medicine of suffering, and He did it alone, on that cruel cross.

In my mind, I can see a child- sitting before a spoonful of syrup and staring at the bitter concoction, miserable and afraid. Her mother is pleading for her to please take the medicine, but she refuses because it tastes so horrible- and what if it makes her feel worse? But her mother keeps gently reminding her that she must take it to get better and in a few seconds it could be done. But the girl’s will must be broken- it does no good to force it down her throat, and so her mother waits. And finally the girl shudders and lifts it to her lips and swallows it down. She shivers as the bitter taste travels down her throat, but the healing medicine is right where it needs to be.

The snow is easing, the small flakes lazily drifting down.

I’ve been clinging to fear and eying the bitter taste of surrender and forgetting the healing power it works in my life. I slip to my knees and raise empty hands high and surrender yet again to my heavenly Father.

I’ve been running from You and I’m sorry. Forgive me! I surrender my life to You. Help me not to fear the waiting. Help me to focus on You, for You are the Ultimate Healer.

The snow is already melting as the day warms up. But it has watered the earth with its beauty, while the warmth of God’s loves thaws my cold and broken heart.

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I still have no answers or any idea when this wait will be over. But it’s ok. I’m allowing the medicine of suffering to heal in this wait and to draw me closer to God. It’s by His grace and power that I trust Him. I am not alone- He is right here, leading me on, and calling me out.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

3 Comments

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  1. Beautiful, Kendra! Anything I can say takes away from the beauty of this post, so I will once more wish you God’s richest blessings, abundance of peace and joy beyond compare.

  2. Beautiful words. The medicine of suffering–yes, it’s hard to take. But His presence with us gives us strength. God bless you!

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