All I really need to know I learned in…
Sadly, it wasn’t kindergarten. It wasn’t a cat, a dog, a teacher or even watching Star Trek.
Nope, nothing cute enough to put on a poster.
It was suffering.
I’m not trying to be melodramatic. Ok, so maybe I haven’t learned everything about life through suffering, but many important lessons have come that way. Why should I be surprised? Suffering taught Jesus, too.
“Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8)
If suffering was necessary for Jesus, a sinless man, why should I think it would be optional for me?
“A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” (Matthew 10:24)
In particular, almost everything I know about being a good friend, I have learned through pain – mine or someone else’s. I still have far to go in that area, which I’m sure means more suffering to come. Yay.
I’m only 28. I’m willing to admit, in comparison to others, I have probably suffered quite insignificantly. But that’s not the point. My life isn’t lived “in comparison to others.” My suffering is significant because, not only was it painful for me, but it is part of my story in a way that God ordained to teach me to depend on Him.
Like it was necessary for Jesus, Dan Allender says that, “Suffering is equally necessary for us because it strips away the pretense that life is good and reasonable, a pretense that will keep us looking in all the wrong places for the satisfaction of our souls.”
How true. When I believe that things are good and right in the world, I am tempted to look there for satisfaction. It’s ugly and sinful… but true. Suffering strips me of that evil pretense – a lie straight from hell. Things are not good and right in the world. But there is a God who is good and right, and in whom I will find a river of delight, if my heart will but seek it.
Without suffering, my heart will not learn to continually seek it. So sad… but true. Even with suffering, my silly heart is still tempted to roam all over fallen creation for its idolatrous lovers.
What a good bridegroom Yeshua is that, even though my heart is a whore (graphic…but Scriptural), He was willing to pay with His own blood to win it back to Him!
My painful journey is a journey that finds its end hope in loving that Bridegroom with a fully-redeemed heart, unfettered by sinful distrust and self-protection. I can hope for significant healing in this life, and complete restoration in the next.
He is a husband well worth it.