Since writing A Small Cup of Light, I’ve had many conversations with those whose lives were touched by it. Those encounters are moving and a startling reminder that God loves to redeem the dark parts of our story. He also loves to multiply that redemption in the lives of other people as we vulnerably share our story with them. Mystery indeed.
Consider all the blessing I would miss had I not faced God in the darkness or consider how much I would miss by not sharing my story. All these experiences prompt a question: “Why are we so intent on avoiding or ignoring the pain in our lives?” The answer we give to that question will reveal a great deal about our spiritual state.
So here’s the inevitable result of these conversations and questions in my life. I’ve become the boy with one drum and the drum I keep pounding is this: “Suffering is an opportunity.” It’s an opportunity to face God more intentionally, more deeply, and with greater vulnerability in the darkness of our pain.
It’s also an opportunity that forces us to make a choice.
- Complain OR Lament: cry against God OR cry for God.
- Seek my comfort OR God’s companionship.
- Maintain the illusion of self-reliance OR face the reality of my frailty.
- Dig in and bunker down against others OR get vulnerable.
- Build a force-field against God OR get naked and expose myself to him.
- Hold to my expectations and get frustrated OR practice moment by moment gratefulness.
- Fight against suffering and be anxious OR accept peace by embracing brokenness.
Suffering is an opportunity, but everything depends on the choices we make.
Ask yourself these questions: Do I really want to be closer to God? Will I accept whatever means he uses to draw us closer?