she is whole

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Comfort in Discomfort; Satisfaction in Disappointment

Posted by sheiswhole on November 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Last month, I tried to write about this very topic, but I was too absorbed by the experience to be able to put what I was feeling into words.

This is a excerpt from the original post from 10/02/2014: “I am a burn victim. If you were to simply breath on me, I would jerk to the flooring, thrashing in pain. I have attempted several entries – each one going up in flames. My hopelessness can’t be hidden today. I am too raw to write.”

We’ve all had them. The dark days. The ones where everything hurts, and there is no comfort. Now that it has passed, I can finally write about it, but that doesn’t mean that I have fullness of clarity on the matter. Allow me unpack my thoughts here…

Some of my most insightful experiences have occurred at Panera. It’s my special place. I will continue to document other magical moments at this very familiar locale, but for today, I will share this little one.

There is this extremely wise woman in my church. Her name is Favor. Amidst my period of darkness, I agreed to crawl out of bed, put on some gym clothes to give the appearance of productivity, and meet her for lunch. I honor this woman, because, in a world of pleasure-seekers and nihilism, she stands firm in the glory of disappointment. She is absolutely comfortable with discomfort and even relishes in it. In a crowded restaurant, she boldly quotes the following verse: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…” (Philippians 3:10, KJV). She explained that suffering and disappointment are experiences to be coveted, as we come to know Christ in honest fellowship and learn that only He can fulfill our deepest needs. In intimate communication through the rawness of our emotions, we develop a friendship with our Creator and go deeper in our understanding of His ways. She even suggested that a life without suffering, a contented/easy faith, is not reflective of true Christianity, as loss and grief naturally follow our choice to count every single aspect of this world as garbage (Philippians 3:8). As I finished my salad, my heart also became full – my suffering had purpose.

Although I haven’t been super jazzed about this trial in my life, the experience has given me several insights that have brought depth to my soul and, most importantly, to my relationship with God. Primarily, I now welcome suffering. Now that the storm has passed and I can count all the God-given blessings that I was missing out on while I was living in fear and selfishness, I am so ready and willing to suffer again for Him. John Piper writes,

“…suffering is nothing more than the taking away of bad things or good things that the world offers for our enjoyment—reputation, esteem among peers, job, money, spouse, sexual life, children, friends, health, strength, sight, hearing, success, etc. When these things are taken away (by force or by circumstance or by choice), we suffer. But if we have followed Paul and the teaching of Jesus and have already counted them as loss for the surpassing value of gaining Christ, then we are prepared to suffer.” (source)

Trials and tribs, ya’ll. Bring it.

Secondly, I know that I will survive suffering with God. After learning to count it as loss, I actually lost it. And in the profundity of grief, I met my Savior. There is nothing greater in this world than becoming best friend’s with the Creator of the Universe. In fact, now that the trial has passed, I actually miss the intimacy that we shared while I was so broken. He is the ultimate comforter.

Lastly, there is wonderful purpose in suffering. Even though I do not have all the answers, I do know with the strongest certainty that God will not allow pain, without allowing something new to be born (Isaiah 66:9).

Let us be discontented with our contentment and seek after discomfort, because THERE IS MORE.

Categories: Little Insights

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