Joy in Suffering and Pain

Lord if I am not a wife to a husband?

Lord if I will not bear a child in my womb and rear them in this lifetime?

Lord if I will not be as successful as others in the office?

Lord what is your purpose for me?

There are questions that can only be answered as we go along in this journey called life. Sometimes we are not even aware that we do have a need to answers to these kinds of questions – as we keep chasing all the wrong things and the wrong people, all in the wrong places and in the wrong time.

We are blessed to bless others, as Pastor Peter continued in his sermon this Sunday morning. The Gospel, the Bible is God centered not man centered. Our ultimate goal is to please God not to please men.

I thank God for the comfort that I have received through the revelation of his Words. Too often than not, I doubt my capabilities of carrying out my work at the office. I was insecure, I was not the pure woman to any man. All along, I thought I was a good eldest sister providing for my younger siblings even if they both now have families of their own. I even took the responsibility of sending one of my nieces to school and now in His grace and provision, she is now preparing to enter her pre medicine – Nursing. She wants to become a medical doctor someday. All along, I thought I was being a good wife material girlfriend. Providing everything, prioritizing their needs above mine – even above my own responsibilities of paying my own bills. I gave it all out to the point of forgetting my own self. I gave it all, unknowingly and even if I don’t admit I want something or someone in return. Not knowing that in order for me to get out this self distructive cycle is to admit I cannot be everyone to every body. I need a source of strenght, source of power, I need someone who will save me. That One is in the Person of Jesus.

Do I know my purpose? Do I know how to know and fulfill that purpose? If I do not know my purpose tendency is I cannot maximize life. I cannot live life to the fullest. Worst I can misuse the talent, time and resources God has entrusted me with this lifetime. So how do I know my purpose? I can only ask my Designer. My Maker from The Heavens Above. The One Who knitted me in my mother’s womb. He saw me before I was born. God is before me, God is behind me. That’s How He valued my life, that’s how He valued and purposely designed your life and mine for His own delight.

It’s been days, all the hurting and pain. All the personal attacks left and right. Of those words telling me for who I am not. But then I came to my senses and I thank God for the sermon today. Indeed, as long as we live in this world, suffering and pain is inevitable, not a matter of if but when. Today I learned it is important to go back to my purpose. Why on earth am I here for? Is life about here and now? Without the perspective of eternity – if I looked at the world today, how miserable and hopeless it is? No wonder a lot of people take their own lives just to escape this dying world. This now calls for that paradigm shift as discussed by Stephen R. Covey in his best selling book “The Seven Habits of Hight Effective People”. To look at life from a different perspective – that instead of looking inwardly for all my pain and suffering, look outwardly at others as more important than me. This is now the time for me not just to listen to sermon. Not just to read self help books. Not just to read the Bible for inspiration and “feel good” tick in a box daily routine. It’s now time for me to know God and find who I am in Him. By experience. By intimacy. Intentional. Personal Encounter.

First I need to find my joy in the Lord, not in the things and approval of people of this world. For the longest time I have sought the favor of men, approval of men. I can vividly recall that moment when I was sitting down with my father telling him what I wanted to do with the money I have received as bonus from the bank. My father didn’t paid attention at all. In his death bed, I was crying before him about the pain of being a daughter from just his second wife – that I was not aware of his first family and his first children. My father as he used to, just placed his one hand on my head. Then I hear my mother yelling at me, where is the money, that she had a lot things of things to do rather than hear the drama moment I had with my father. They both long have left the earth. But all the pain remains. Soon I ended up trying to look for happiness in hoarding all that I could, looking for love even in wrong relationships, illicit relationships. But God is good, here I am now. After all the never ending and tiring cycle of chasing after this world. I ended up realizing all of those happiness were counterfeit, substitutes and temporal.

I must dwell in the revelation knowledge of Him, that yes I need a Savior. I need Some One bigger, mightier, grander than the multitude of my sins. His Name is Jesus. But Salvation is two fold. Just as Christ came to the earth two thousand years ago as The Mesiah. Yes The Lord Jesus Christ first came as a Savior, His second coming as a Judge. I seek justice from all the unfair treatment, from all the abuse. But just as I need a Savior, I do not want Judgement, I need His mercies and His graces. Two fold it is, now that I am Saved – Saved from my own self destruction, Saved every day as I choose to remain in Him, Saved every minute by the hour to allow Him to fill my mind with what is right, what is pure and what is lovely. Now that my Savior is in every fiber of my soul, with every breath that I take. It is high time now to get to the second fold – bringing and pointing other people to God until the day comes Jesus will Judge the just from unjust, the wise from the unwise, the faithful from the unfaithful. When Jesus said, “away from me I do not know you” from people who called Him “Lord! Lord!”. The word “know” here talks about intimacy. What good do I get from earning the favor of men – to be like the others gone my age giving into marriage. To earn not just a living but eat, happy and be merry. No, I thank God for all these pain and suffering. For out of it I call on the Name of the Lord… Lord! Lord! And what a joy, what a surpassing joy it is to hear. Yes I do know you, I know your sitting down and your rising up, I understand your thoughts from afar. Even before you open your mouth, I know what you are about to say. Intimacy, the joy in suffering, not because of circumstances, not of what I have, but that peace that passes all understanding, that joy that no can take from me. The joy of knowing The Lord.

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