This week alone I have gotten messages, texts, and phone calls about various people at different degrees of hurt and suffering. It ranges from health, to the passing of a friend, to work woes.
Far too often, we bypass the recognition of suffering. We attempt too easily to push past it, with encouraging words or changing of perspectives. I still am unsure where I stand on the process of suffering, as I too am not a fan of it when I am in it.
I don’t find it a chance of fate that I read specifically on it today during my Bible study. I think God plans this way in advance, to lay out words to fill us and to remind us of who He is in the moment of suffering. The study points out that the word for rescue in the Bible has a very distinct meaning in the original translation. It not only means to “draw or snatch from danger, rescue, deliver” but it goes just a step beyond to this: This is more with the meaning of drawing to oneself than merely rescuing from someone or something.*
It’s not God delivering us from suffering, but also pulling us close to Him. I have the image in my mind of a full embrace of two people where one is fully engulfed by the other. That’s what this meaning is now attached to in my mind in moments of suffering. It’s never forgetting that people and places may disappoint me, may hurt me, but my God remains the same in it all. For me, He uses suffering and hardships to remind me that my view should not change of Him even when my views change about everything else.
And while there may be pain in the night, joy (and mercy and grace) are on their way…