Caution: Christian content ahead. If you would rather not read, I’m sure there is a re-run of Law and Order playing somewhere. Flip to TNT and I will join you in a bit.
The Bible says in Romans 5:3 that we are take joy in our suffering, as it leads to perseverance. We have been discussing this in Sunday School as well. Grieving allows us to help others, it draws us closer to God.
Let me preface by saying I agree with all of this. But when adversity starts to pile on top of adversity, you kind of get a little prickly.
I found out this week that my great Aunt, the lady that we all thought would live forever, may have cancer. Though I haven’t talked to the doctor yet, he blithely said to her that he would not do surgery on her due to her age. O.K, I agree with this too. If it would make her last few days, months or years on earth less enjoyable or make her quality of life less, I agree with this. But that isn’t what I am talking about today.
Joy in adversity is something that I have found to be totally misunderstood by the general public and non-Christians. I had someone tell me once that, “Don’t you Christians look for ways to suffer so your God will approve of you more? Aren’t you supposed to smile all the time when bad stuff happens to you?” Uh. No.
Christians aren’t masochists. We don’t flog ourselves each night to more approved of Christ. (Well I don’t anyway.)
God knows we need time to grieve. He knows we don’t want to lose our loved ones to terminal illness or even to old age. He knows we have a limit. That’s why we are supposed to lean on Him ALL THE TIME, so that when these things happen, it isn’t foreign to us to do it.
I agree that I am a little depressed today. Another death or illness so quickly will be very difficult for me to go through, even with Christ’s help. But to know real Joy in your life, you are supposed to rely on God for all things, so we can be ready for the good and the bad.
That doesn’t mean I won’t take to my bed, watch hours of Law and Order and Bones and eat a pizza, peeps (hey its Easter) and anything else I can find until I feel like facing the world. God gets me, after all. That’s why he’s God.