Like everyone, I have suffered. You can't live on earth without experiencing it. Yet why is it when I read a quote like this my head starts spinning?
“Sufferers want to be ministered to by people who have suffered. They are suspicious of people who appear to live lives of ease. He (God) has given a role to messy, wimpy people like me. He has made us His ambassadors of reconciliation, and suffering gives us credibility with a hurting world and demonstrates God’s sufficiency to meet our needs.”
by Stephen F. Saint in his essay, “Sovereignty, Suffering, and the Work of Missions”
Have I suffered enough for God to use me?
Must I be seen as a victim to have credibility with others?
Is it possible for others to know my suffering enough to trust me?
It is essential for them to know it?
Have I missed seeing God at work because I've been too scared of the risk?
Does speaking of my suffering draw others to me or tempt me to wallow in my misfortune?
What may God ask me to go through strictly for the sake of ministering to others?
Why must life be so hard?
Why does God like to do things the hard way?
Though I may not like it, I recognize nothing strips me of pride like suffering. When life is out of our control, I can't rely on myself anymore. I have only One place to turn. Nothing builds compassion or empathy quite like suffering. It helps me discover what's important and purifies my heart.
Suffering is a crash course in heart training.
Once I've been pushed and pulled, once I understand my place in this world and my utter reliance on Him, God, in His impeccable style, says, "NOW, we're cooking. NOW I can really use you." And He uses this imperfect, hurting person to help other imperfect, hurting people, uniting us as a beautiful body.
He shows me how to love.
Truly He causes all things to work together for the good for those who love Him, for those who are called according to His purpose.
Join this week's host, Kathryn, at Expectant Hearts for more ideas on this quote.
Photo Credit: Dude Crush