By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
There are some weeks when we understand the true meaning of the phrase, “When it rains, it pours.” It’s as if everything is falling apart and everything is going wrong. Weeks like that affect each part of our life–physical, emotional, mental. We sleep too long or don’t sleep at all. Our minds drift throughout the day. We stop marking time by our watch and instead keep track of how long it’s been since our last stroke of bad news. After a while, like being in the tenth round of a boxing match, you’ve been beat up for so long you stop feeling the blows.
Circumstances have a unique way of tearing us open, leaving our hearts raw and open. While suffering, we are left bare, delicate, sensitive. We weep and we question. We doubt and we scream.
The good news is that when our hearts lay open and raw, God can freely begin to transform us. Through the low points of life, God’s wish is to step into your suffering so that he can work in a way you never thought possible.
So often, we see times of difficulty as roadblocks. From our perspective, it’s as if life has gives us a blazing red light. All things come to a halt until we can find joy and peace once more.
But what if suffering wasn’t a disruption but an opportunity. A chance for God to work in the midst of your newfound humility, your complete openness, your painful desperation, and use those things to radically reconstruct your heart. When our heart is broken, God can begin to put the pieces back together, transforming it along the way.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been observing construction crews repairing the sidewalk along a road I drive to work each day. But making an unsteady sidewalk level again requires more than a simple repair. It requires reconstruction. It was only after they had spent an entire week crumbling the sidewalk, reducing it to pebbles, that they could begin the work of making it new again.
It’s when our hearts have been crumbled to pebbles by our ongoing suffering that we are made accessible to the reconstruction and renewal of God.
Does this mean we should enter into suffering with smiles on our faces? Probably not. But we mustn’t allow suffering to pass us by without grasping the opportunity for transformation.
But remember, this too shall pass. Our hearts will not be laid raw and open forever.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).