Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011 It's all About Perspective

I Peter 2: 21-23 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps who did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

It's been a while since I have felt clear-minded enough to write here - a wounded knee, torn meniscus that interfered much with life - whether sleeping, walking or just sitting and thinking. Then surgery a week ago and the subsequent recovery. I have been grateful for pain medicine, but as a colleague said of my behavior Monday afternoon when I returned to work, apparently I brought a measure of mirth to the office with somewhat uncharacteristic behavior.

Anyway, I am trying to make tylenol be my drug of choice, but it isn't cutting it, especially at night.

All of that to say, you only have to read 1 Peter to get perspective on suffering; Peter was writing to a people being pursued unto death because of their faith. He reminds them that their suffering is really only for a season, as is all suffering. We need to step back and get the right perspective - the duration of any earthly suffering, our earthly suffering -  is short when we look at eternity in the presence of the Father.

Then Peter reminds them that the trial of their faith can be useful bringing honor and glory to God. Our suffering and trials come in the form of a trust, we are trusted with them as a way to honor God and show the world that He is enough, sufficient for the trial.

In the verse for consideration today, we are reminded of the One who modeled how to handle suffering for us, Jesus Himself. He did nothing to deserve what He endured, from the years of living restricted in a human body (I wonder if He had a cold, a stomach ache, or sore muscles or feet.) And that pain is nothing to compare with the cross - not just the physical suffering, but the bearing of our sin debt and the separation from the Father....when He cried out, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

So I guess for me today, and maybe for you, it is important to step back from what seems such a challenge today, and look at the bigger picture. As real as my pain is right now, Jesus showed me how to handle it, and like Jesus, I can handle it better as I commit myself and my pain to Him.