How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
I attended a woman’s retreat recently in the lovely area of Flathead Lake. Bracing mountain air, whispers of wind in pines, snow capped mountain peaks, and delightful lakes tucked in surprising valleys.
The theme of the retreat seemed to fit well with this Easter weekend.
Partakers of His suffering….called to Holiness.
When I think of holiness I often think of something beyond my grasp. Something only found in Heaven or the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle. Something I can never attain to.
I learned that holiness comes from simply giving my life to my Creator. I learned that suffering brings us to Christ….that we might be partakers of His holiness. I have so much to learn on this subject yet. And part of me wants to hide my face and not look into the depth of it.
Because it might hurt. And it DOES hurt.
Because it seems so contrary to my human nature.
Because I feel so unworthy of a holy, loving God reaching out His grace to me.
We had some wonderful speakers that spoke of pain and holiness and allowing suffering to change us into what Christ longs for us to experience. When we give everything in our life over to Jesus and ask Him to use us for His glory, He sometimes takes us to places we think are absolutely unfair and ridiculous and asking WAY too much of us. I know….I hate to admit that’s how I’ve felt already. He gave His LIFE for me….nothing is too much to give back to Him. But in my human mind, I hold up all kinds of restrictions and requests and appeals and think I know what would glorify God the most and how He should run my life.
One quote in particular stood out to me ” God does not judge me by the outcome of my circumstances, but by my faith” -Wendy Good
In other words, life may not go AT ALL as you planned. You may have the absolute BEST plans laid out and you are just waiting for the Lords blessing to come pouring out on your amazing plans….and they fall apart. This does not mean God was not in your plans. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t care about you.
As Wendy shared…”we don’t get to pick if we have a happy marriage”
(yes, we do everything in our power to make it happy, but it’s up to our partner to make it happy also)
We don’t get to pick if our children die. ….
If we are healthy and talented…..
“But we can believe that the life we are living now…
God has a plan for it.
We are not living a messed up alternative.”
And that frees us to live to the fullest. To leave our hurts at Jesus feet. To tell Him about them and trust Him to bring glory to His name …to ‘use our body as a living sacrifice’ . To take our pain and the circumstances we did not ask for in our life and use it for some greater glory.
Here’s a bit of my testimony. You can paraphrase it to your own situation in life…
“I told You my plans
(Healthy children. Putting roots down and raising a family)
And You answered
(Incurable genetic disorder. Moving across country and trying to find where God wants us)
Now teach me Your decrees!
(What do you want of me, O God?)
Help me UNDERSTAND the meaning of Your commandments and I will meditate on Your wonderful deeds!”
(Look for spots of Life that have Glorified Him and brought PRAISE to His name!)
Just as Wendy brought out…sometimes we let our young children win a game of checkers and sometimes we let them lose…it’s not about the winning or losing….God cares more about OUR CHARACTER then if we win or lose.”
He really DOES have a greater glory in mind.
It’s not easy to live this life of giving myself and my Loved ones and my plans to God. But I just KNOW it is worth it. I just KNOW Kierra would agree with me! 🙂
Praying for peace to your heart.
Pray the same for mine? 🙂
One thought on “Partakers Of His Suffering”
This is so beautiful Anita. I have had so many of these same thoughts since the ladies retreat. You summed it up so neatly.