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REV Susan Brandt

I think Dr.Scott Peck summed it up best when he said “Life is difficult … this is a great truth because once we truly see this truth we begin to transcend it.”[1]

I sense that for many folks there is an expectation that because we give our life to Jesus our life will or must be constantly victorious, in other words without suffering, without difficulties.

In the triumphal part of our church community suffering with Jesus is seen as weakness, lack of faith or even evidence of sin. If we pray for healing or miracles, God will and must give us what we ask for…now.

My experience has been that God will do what God wants to do, precisely when God wants to do it, in the way He choses to do it, and entirely within His sovereign time frame.

How presumptuous of me to TELL God what to do!
He has the prerogative absolutely.

There could be no resurrection without bloodshed on Calvary. Jesus invites us to pick up our cross and carry it in order to be His disciple… and yet Jesus Himself could not carry His own cross on the way to Golgotha. He fell under the weight of His own cross and needed someone else to carry it for Him.

So why does Jesus ask us to do something that He Himself could not do?

Why? because the weight of me picking up my cross will cause me to eventually fall flat on my face. It will bring suffering and cause me to come to the end of myself. Only then in that place will I experience my most intimate encounter with Jesus as He personally lifts the burden of my cross from me. As we are humbled before the Lord He will lift us up.

My life is in a constant process of healing.

There has been no presto magical healing miracles, just a steady constant healing process from death to life… from sorrow to joy… from despair to hope.

Christians around me have needed to be patient.

As I exhibit His abiding strength that flows from my obvious weaknesses and brokenness, many are afraid to get too close for fear their own weaknesses might also be revealed.

“Sometimes I sit in church
bleeding all over my soul
I sit amongst the people of God bleeding
What will they do with all this pain
Will they move away from the red splattering
Will they whisper about me in disgust
Will they try to understand
Will they make bandages and gently cover my wounds?”[2]

So much of scripture speaks about lamentation.
Crying out to God in the midst of our suffering

Miracles can and do happen, God can do as He pleases.
Only God knows what we need when and how.
I am glad Paul had that thorn in his flesh and I am glad we don’t know what it was. All I know is that he suffered with it all of his earthly life. God told him there was a divine purpose for his ordeal.

So long as God has a purpose for my suffering I will endure with grace.

Life is difficult but my joy comes from knowing that I am God’s beloved just as I am today. Therefore lets fight the good fight til the day of true victory comes.


Quotes from [1]”The road less traveled…by Dr.S Peck”
[2]”Survivor prayers…Catherine Foote”