Have you ever suffered? I mean really suffered? Suffering is a touchy thing. We like to feel strong, in control and on top, but when everything is stripped away and all that remains is a weak and vulnerable person our feelings no longer hold us up. Every Christian is called to suffer. If you have never been through suffering, know that it will come. Job suffered, David suffered, Paul suffered. Everyone that seeks to serve the Lord Jesus Christ will have to walk through the shadow of death and sit in the presence of their enemies.
You know honestly, I feel sorry for those to whom suffering is merely something others go through. Those that have everything handed their way and live in self seeking misery. Their lives are so empty, so fruitless and void.
Suffering brings us closer to our Lord. It helps us to comfort those who morn and lift up those who are weary. How can you comfort when you have never grieved? How can you lift up when you have never been brought down? How can we be like Christ if we have never partaken in His pain?
I see suffering all around. I see mothers losing children, children losing parents, people starving, people imprisoned for Christ, people that just need someone who will open their eyes and take five seconds to care. What is wrong with us!? Why do we walk around blindly so often?! Maybe it's because there are those of us who are unwilling to suffer. Let me tell you something, if you want your eyes to be opened to those suffering around you, ask God to let you suffer for His sake. Once you have had to suffer for Christ you will suddenly see all the things you never saw. The man behind bars will no longer be just a picture, he will be a brother. The writings of a grieving widower will no longer just be words, they will become tears on your cheek. The woman who has lost her children will no longer just be another thing on the prayer list, but a sister that you spend hours on your knees for.
We must ask God to open our eyes! We must beg Him to clear the hazy fog! There are so many people that need our love and care and yet it is so easy to think only of ourselves. When you have suffered or are in the midst of suffering you see the world in a whole new light. Look around and you will find that it is often the people who have suffered the most who give the most. Do you know why? Because they are the ones who have spent hours on their knees crying out to God for help! They are the ones whose hearts have been broken to pieces. They are the ones with wounds that may eventually heal, but will turn to scars that will never go away. And when you are scarred, you see more clearly others with scars.
Jesus has scars. I can see them, but there are those who cannot only see them, but they can feel them because Christ found them worthy enough to share in His suffering. They are the ones who have received the greatest gift of all.
Do you want to truly know Christ? Then suffer for His sake, and open your eyes to your brothers and sisters and those who are not saved. Open your eyes to their pain and do something about it. I have not had to suffer for Christ like some of my brothers and sisters have and are suffering now. But I pray that someday He will count me worthy to share in His sufferings that I may know Him deeper still.
Just some thoughts I wrote down last night as I prayed for some brothers and sisters in Christ.