Monday, November 28, 2011

Thoughts on suffering, blessing, and miracles from heaven…

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I’ve been wrestling with my theology on suffering for years now.

May I politely say, I’m not that interested in what you think, or this famous preacher says,

or tape or book or whatever.

I want if straight from the Book.

I want my theology to be His.

The way I see it the pendulum on suffering swings to two extremes.

Americans seem to swing to the extreme that suffering is from satan, God’s will for us is only blessing,

suffering is not blessing and therefore should never happen in the life of a believer.

Here’s where I have a problem…this just doesn’t seem to jive with what’s in the Book.

Every major person throughout the Scripture experienced some type of trial, testing, suffering….

from hope deferred for years and years, Abraham, to being falsely accused and imprisoned, Joseph,

to being martyred, most of the disciples.

The other extreme swing of the pendulum is that we have to somehow earn our salvation through suffering,

that we have to pass some sort of suffering test to be saved.

I don’t find this in the Book either.

The perfect, sinless Son of God died and suffered and rose again for our salvation.  Period.

Nothing we do can add to what He has done.

So, here’s where I’m at on the issue. 

If mankind had not sinned, there would be no suffering. 

God is ever watchful over His children. 

His thoughts towards them are more than can be numbered.

So, suffering doesn’t, OOPS!, happen to one of His kids and slip by unnoticed.

If one of His kids goes through suffering, He has allowed it for a purpose and will not waste the experience,

but use it for their good and His glory.

Each of my three daughters have experienced some suffering.

The oldest one, 10 years of infertility, and 3 miscarriages.

The second born, hope deferred for years and years on her dreams,

and a long, long battle before the adoption on her oldest child was finalized.

The youngest daughter, broken engagement, betrayal, hope deferred.

Today our firstborn gave birth to her second daughter.

A 7 lb 13 oz, 19 1/2 inch miracle from the top of her hair covered head to the bottom of her rather long feet.

And the 10 years of loss and waiting and praying?

It didn’t make them more saved, neither did it make them bitter,

but I can say it did make them better.

There’s just something rich and deep in the life of a person who’s gone through the time of testing and trial

and come out triumphant.

That’s what’s on my mind and heart today as my oldest holds her second little miracle from heaven.

I couldn’t be happier or prouder.

Bless the Name of the Lord Who does all things well.

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Still following,

Elizabeth (aka Nana)

linking here

21 comments:

  1. I agree entirely with what you've written here. May God continue to bless, keep, and grow! all of you.

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  2. What a blessing to see that nothing is outside of the Father. Suffering teaches us so much and is the way of glory. I loved your post; and enjoy the wonder of family and new life, Mave

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  3. What a heartfelt post and a wonderful story. Congratulations all round.

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  4. I've been waiting all day to come here and see if you shared your newest grandbaby. What a precious - and beautiful - gift from the Father. Your words touched me deeply. I'm thrilled with the 'end result' of the waiting - and suffering. Isn't it just like God to give His best when we are faithful and persevere. And wait?
    ~Adrienne~

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  5. Your "wrestling" has paid off with some good understanding & insight, I believe!

    What a beautiful child! What a head of hair :) I just want to pinch her little cheeks!

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  6. This is JUST TOO GOOD not to share.... off to post it on FB. CONGRATS and such a great post!

    Love you,
    Traci

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  7. Congratulations, she is beautiful!

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  8. precious posy of a baby girl ..
    and yes, truly, a miracle.
    swooning over His fingerprints
    on her life. prayer heavenward.

    there's beauty from ashes, and certainly there's beauty in suffering .. for He is doing an intricate work in our hearts and those around us. there is blessing in the pain. if our hearts are abiding in Him, we match our own heartbeat to His - and take joy no matter what the circumstance. joy? yes, for He works everything for HIS purpose .. we can trust Him! all glory to a Living Lord.

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  9. Amen! It is good that I have been afflicted that I might learn your statutes. Psalm 119

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  10. I'm so happy for you. Thanks for your words. I will have to read them over and over. I need to hear this.

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  11. Lovely words and a lovelier grandchild! A wise nana is the best kind.
    Blessings to you and yours, friend.

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  12. Huge praise and thanksgiving and congratulations for you, your daughter, and all of you! I stand with you 100%, especially on the simple statement you made that you get your answers from the Word and only the Word.

    I know all about hope deferred. Thank God it's still hope.

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  13. This is a total God-Bumps moment. I am so happy for you all. A hearty congratulations to your family!

    And you, sister ... I am so delighted that you joined in on my new blog community. It's a wee bit nerve-wracking hosting a party and wondering if people will come! Yay! It's officially a party. Thanks for being a part of our community. You're such a blessing.

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  14. I just came over from Jennifer's new linky--glad I did! I think we all wrestle with our theology on suffering--I know I do! I think you have presented it in a very balanced way. Your pictures are beautiful--how could they miss with subjects as beautiful as your growing family?!

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  15. This is well-written. I think you'd be surprised at how many people have struggled with this same issue. I agree with every line, word and period. May I have the grace to live it.

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  16. Hi Elizabeth, You wrote so articulately about an issue that can be complex, and yet you made it simple - that suffering is 'not a wasted experience' and that our suffering doesn't 'slip by unnoticed' these words are a soothing balm. Visiting from Tuesdays Unwrapped

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  17. I love the honesty here...yes...the swings we take when we want to nail down the meaning of suffering...So thankful for your new little gift...oh pure joy...my daughter will have her first in a couple of months:)
    Blessings as you drink in this goodness...

    http://tuningmyhearttopraise.blogspot.com/2011/10/with-change-ofleavescooler-temperatures.html

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  18. My link had a similar theme today - thanks so much for this good writing and thinking and especially for THESE GREAT PICTURES. So happy for you all. God is indeed good.

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  19. So thankful that in God's Economy nothing is wasted...including our suffering. Every tear is stored. Every cry is heard. We choose to draw nearer to Him or close our hearts and grow bitter. I cling to His promise, "I will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you."
    Blessings, Audrey

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  20. Isn't wonderful that suffering allows us to connect with believers and non believers! Your precious grandaughter is lovely and may you have years of sharing your godly wisdom so she too will be a amazing woman of God.

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  21. This post has stuck in my head and today I read this list of 36 Purposes of God in Suffering (each of them has the accompanying Scripture reference). I found it really edifying and hope you will too.

    http://counselingoneanother.com/2012/03/20/36-purposes-of-god-in-our-suffering/

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