So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:4 NLT
I still don't know why God gave me my circumstances in life. Truthfully, I probably won't fully understand until I'm in Heaven one day. And I'm okay with that. It's so true that we can overcome, especially in my relationship with God and what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. That's how I have overcome the temporary disadvantages of CP. Yes, I can't walk but I have to believe that I'm closer to God because I have CP than I otherwise would've been.
Suffering is truly sacred, y'all. Please hear me when I say that everyone experiences suffering differently. My version isn't the same as yours, but that's what's beautiful about it. God can bring beauty from ashes, just as He can turn the suffering we face into something so SACRED. The past 20 and a half years (that I've driven a power chair) haven't been easy. But I sit here today, in the midst of this quarantine, I’m all kinds of grateful. Grateful for Easter and the fact that because Jesus overcame death, Hell and the grave I can overcome having Cerebral Palsy and being physically disabled.
Similarly, I've been thinking a lot lately about the suffering Jesus endured while on the cross for us and was reminded of something my mom shared with me. Shortly after my premature birth, during my stay in the NICU, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I had become significantly worse on that particular day and my parents were understandably shaken by the setback I was experiencing. Mom said she heard God speak to her soul saying, “I understand what it's like to see your child suffer and not be able to do a single thing about it.” I will never forget my mother telling me that as long as I live. It's true, though if anyone understands our suffering, it's God. He experienced it firsthand.
I can choose my perspective on suffering. I can choose to let it define or refine me. We have all faced this choice in our lives and trust me if you haven’t faced this decision yet, you eventually will. So, what will it be?
Job 23:10 reminds us, "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” Those words from Job are such a beautiful reminder of what God can do for us when we let God change our perspective toward suffering.
Lord, thank You for suffering and the lessons You teach us in the midst of our deepest pain. Strengthen us each day as we can either choose to let our suffering define or refine us. In Your Name we pray, Amen.