I have spent a lifetime running from pain, all kinds. I learned at a very young age how to numb myself from the pain around me…the pain of abuse, the pain of neglect, the pain of rejection, physical pain, and especially emotional pain. I hated to hurt but I guess that really doesn’t make me too unique does it?
As a girl growing up and even as a young woman, I learned how to buck up and put on a happy face and “pretend” that I was strong and unbreakable. This worked, I learned to keep pain and suffering at a distance but in the process my heart was numb, disconnected, and holed up in a bunker. I was emotionally unavailable to anyone until God broke through. God reached down and cupped his hands around my face ever so gently, pulled me near and said “No daughter, I have more for you, I am meeting you in your pain and I need you to face your pain so that you can learn to depend on me.”
I placed my faith in Him at that moment but only because He gave me the ability to. Things of course didn’t get easier but for the first time ever I began to feel the pain of my abuse, the pain of my sin and depravity, the pain of lost relationships and loved ones who didn’t protect, the pain of infertility, and the pain of learning how to live as a godly daughter, wife, and mother in a man-centered body and world.
As I read through Hebrews this morning, God’s word was a perfect reminder and brought great comfort. In my sharing, I am not trying to break down the theology of God’s word but to share how His word is stirring my heart. This passage is a warning against neglecting salvation and although not directly related to my suffering (at the moment), the truths here extend far and wide in my life and in this great reminder of what Jesus has accomplished, I can’t help but find myself at the foot of His throne in awe and reverence of what He has finished.
5Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6It has been testified somewhere,
"What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8putting everything in subjection under his feet."
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
“Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control.” He left nothing outside of His control! How reassuring that nothing happens outside the will of God…He is in control. If I believe God’s promises, if I believe He is good, if I believe He is love, then in my suffering I can believe that He will be my comfort and He will see this through for His glory.
“Crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Salvation, my salvation has been made perfect through suffering! My suffering could never compare to the suffering my Lord endured on the cross because of my sin. I am not alone in my suffering, he is there to comfort. Ultimately, God will use this momentary affliction for His glory and I pray that God would use this situation, our humility and our repentance to advance the gospel.
Lord Jesus, I know that you are not above suffering; in fact you understand and have experienced suffering far beyond anything I will ever endure. You were perfected in suffering so that I could enter into the Father’s presence and rest. I rest in the fact that nothing is outside of your control, that all things happen for your purpose and your glory. So daddy, I pray that you will continue to shower me with peace and joy. I pray that your loving kindness would give us the strength to walk out this new season of life in humility and grace, all to your glory!