Friday, February 20, 2015

Lenten Challenge - Day 3 Art Journal

Today's word prompt is suffering. There is so much suffering in this world.  We see and witness it in the world and we experience it in our own lives.  We can be weighed down by so much pain - physical, emotional, spiritual.  My 6 year old daughter's devotion last night talked about life sometimes not being fair.  It encouraged her to remember that when life seems unfair to our hearts, that we change our focus and choose to look at how we've been blessed - not how we've been "cheated."  In my own devotion this morning I came to 1 Peter 5:10 - And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  These words provide me, and you, with so much hope.  God knows all we suffer.  It pains Him to see us suffer.  Sometimes God does take away that pain, but more often He does something perhaps even more miraculous.  He takes that suffering and uses it to draw us closer to Him and to make us into someone new and improved. He uses our suffering to improve and refine our character.  He himself restores us.  He himself confirms us.  He himself strengthens us.  He himself establishes us. No, suffering is not something we choose for ourselves and it's not the life God wants for us either, but He knows how to handle it.  Today this verse reminded me that my suffering and any pain that I keep trying to process on my own belongs in the hands of the one who can handle it and has promised to handle it.  My own human heart will try to turn suffering into bitterness, but giving it over to God will allow Him to turn it into something beautiful.  May the God of all grace take all our pains and sufferings - the physical hurts, the losses, the rejections, the doubts - and refashion them to reflect His glory.  Amen

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