Monday, March 7, 2011

To Suffer "Well"

Well it’s more than obvious that we all get hurt in this life. We all go through tough and painful times. Some of them are emotional, some are physical. Sometimes it’s both.

I’ve never been one to welcome these times in life – until they are long past. Then I find myself oddly thankful for what they taught me. For they always teach me something.

I find it kind of interesting that we always seem to be so caught off guard or surprised when hardship or suffering comes our way. It’s as if we think we can escape it somehow. But we are alive – no one escapes being hurt. It’s part of reality.

I have this desire in me to deal better with those times when they come. To handle them better than I have in the past. I want to “suffer well.” Mainly, because I want my God to be proud of me.

I think if I suffer well, it will actually affect my whole attitude and outlook. I think it might even affect my circumstances at times. Those are all natural benefits of handling a painful time and I will welcome and embrace them when they come. But more than that, I simply want to find favor with God.

I haven’t exactly handled hardships in the past with the most grace or maturity. I know I won’t welcome them when they come again. In fact, I may even pray and ask God to remove them from my life. But I do hope that in the process, I can still find the courage (that only comes from Him) to suffer well through them. To know that there is purpose and that most things are but in my life for a season. Even if those don’t prove true or I don‘t discover the answers I seek…I still pray that I will learn the habit of suffering well.

He’s asked it of me.

Because I love God, I want to honor that request the best I can.

What is suffering “well?” It’s having graciousness, patience, faith, peace, and tolerance. Tolerance for the pain you might be feeling knowing that God has His reasons. Peace knowing that you are in God’s hands and they are mighty capable hands at that! Patience for the phase or season to change or end. And graciousness towards those who may not understand. Suffering well also means not complaining about things. It means finding something to smile about and a reason for hope…a reason for laughter.

Sometimes it’s a tall order – but God can give me the strength and courage I need to suffer well through the challenges in my life.

He’s given me all the tools I need.


Mary said...

"He's given me the tools I need"...yes, He's given you Himself.

And honey, if you are his, you have already found favor with him...

It is hard to "thank Him in all things" but I think the longer we walk with him and see his faithfulness, and how he works everything out it gets easier. Well, maybe not easier, but we are quicker to be thankful!

Grace and Peace

Dionna said...

Thank you for those words, Mary. I guess a part of me still feels like I have to "earn" His favor. But you are right.