Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thoughts on Suffering...

While in church this morning, I was having thoughts about how being in need actually increases our spiritual awareness. Yesterday we caught the end of a shark program and the guy on there was going out (in a normal swim suit) to some 4-foot water where many sharks were swimming around. He was trying to prove that sharks weren't predatory toward humans, that if they attack it's because we made them feel unsafe. With a badly scarred leg from a recent shark bite, he mentioned how he now goes out hungry, to keep his senses acute.

I guess when we were singing "Blessed Be Your Name" this morning, I realized times of suffering, pain, and darkness keep our spiritual senses acute. I know when I have a glaring need in my life, I am much more purposeful about times in the Word and prayer with the Lord. I recognize and know my need much more readily. Trials in life remind us this in not our home, and they remind us we're put here for more than earthly pleasure. Clearly there is something Eternal more worthy than all this.

I Peter 1:6-9 tells us, "In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

I sang: "Blessed be Your name, On the road marked with suffering, Though there's pain in the offering, Blessed be Your name. Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise, When the darkness closes in, Lord Still I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your name. Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your glorious name."

I thought how singing this at times in church is easy, and other times it's hard. Sometimes a song like this takes faith to even say the words. How often at CrossBridge in San Antonio the church sang this and I could barely choke it out, tears just pouring rapidly. Today, in what feels like the calm before the storm, I sang - knowing soon I'll be tested on calling Him blessed and praising perhaps in darkness. I hope I'm ready. I find myself thinking more and more about IVF next month, religiously checking the blogs of my current friends doing IVF to see whether theirs failed or succeeded - as if that had any bearing on us! I find myself unable to grasp how I'd feel if it were a complete failure. So I just pray for a ready heart.


Jeanie said...

Wonderful thoughts, Denise. You all are an example to many. We'll continue to be praying for you all...and for a ready heart

Ben and Susi said...

Denise, as one who knows how it feels to raise one's hands in the darkness and make the sacrifice of praise (though still not very good at it), just know I'm thinking of you...bringing you before God as often as I think of you. You are His precious child, loved far, far more than you can imagine. Whatever suffering you are going through, He is intensely aware of it. May God already be preparing a song of praise for your lips in the next month.