Monday, May 9, 2011

There Are No Bad Things

In a typical day of the average American, wouldn't you say a lot of it would be spent trying to make themselves feel better?  Everything from discomfort, boredom, frustration to actual pain and suffering, we work really hard to eliminate it, don't we? I know I do. If I just wasn't so tired, hungry, upset, mistreated, left out, etc., then I would do what needs to be done.  I'm especially bad about expecting my day or an experience to go one way and then when it gets fouled up, everything is just over. I give up, in a fit of frustrated self-righteousness!  And then what if something really bad happens? My heart just about refuses to accept it. "It's not FAIR!!"

I've been feeling this exact way about my weight.  Despite my hard work and best efforts, I (so far) can't seem to really lose weight while still nursing Jude.  Have you ever felt that way about something?  I'm certain there are so many more people who have much more legitimate complaints than I, which is partially my point.  It's become very clear that God is allowing this to work on my pride problem.  I do not like it, but I have to admit, its definitely a good choice to teach me.  Quite a sore spot.

I recently heard someone talk about suffering and its role in our christian lives.  Their point was that in a christian life, there can be no bad things, according to Romans 28:28-29.  There may be things we don't like or wouldn't choose, but they are all opportunities to be shaped more Christ-like.  From that view, every single negative thing that comes our way is a wonderful thing - another chance to grow and celebrate God's power.  I do not live this way, not even close.  I'm more likely to whine and complain about the slightest pain or discomfort than to be thankful for what anything negative might allow me to do.  But I'd really like to try to change that.

So, here's my first try.  I really wish this weight-loss was a lot easier, but I am thankful that I'm gaining mercy and empathy for any and all who have ever struggled.  I'm glad to be reminded that Jesus willingly allowed so many things to happen to him that he never deserved and could even have stopped. In light of that, who am I to demand that things be easier for me.  And, I look forward to the day that I can genuinely have a meek and gentle spirit about me.

"I work like it's all up to me and pray like it's all up to God and rejoice in the circumstances."
                                                         - Ken Hutcherson

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