To Read on the Journey

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hard to Swallow

"Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him.  Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way.  Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want."  
 1 Peter 4: 1-2 (The Message)

For the last week I have read these two verses multiple times a day.  Because I'm suffering with quiet a bit of physical discomfort again I'm sure this next week I'll be found doing the same.

As I read I find myself thinking of Revelations 10:10, which calls believers to "eat this book."  I'm biting and chewing and finding these words hard to swallow.

Once when I was 6 I didn't want to eat peas so I packed my suitcase and ran away. I was bound for Tori Johnson's house. I was certain her mother would NEVER force me to consume the icky little green vegetable.  I'd like to run away from these words. But I'm no longer 6, and like them or not- I know I need to eat them. 

 So I'm biting into "Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him."  The truth is when I hurt I don't want to redirect my focus toward Jesus, and what he went through (for me).  Because I'm in self-preservation mode I don't want to tune my thoughts to his.  But now more than ever I should be in Jesus-preservation mode. I need more of him and less of me. 

I'm chewing on, "think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way."  These words are the most bitter in my mouth.  Did you notice that "sufferings" is plural?  I'm always blindsided when I suffer again.   "Again" leaves a nasty taste in my mouth- entitlement Entitlement tells me that I've been through enough suffering, and deserve a "get out of jail free" card.  Entitlement causes me to be a 39 yr old toddler throwing a fit of 'I want' and 'I need' and 'I deserve' my "OWN WAY!!!!!"

I'm swallowing- "Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want."  "Tyrannized by what you want." Yeah, that's me lately.  And the more out-of-control I feel physically the more I grasp for control of something-anything.  I absolutely lose sight of pursuing what God wants, and as a result am oppressed by more than just pain.  

When I was 6 I imagined Tori Johnson's mother would never make me eat peas.  In my little girl mind I decided her to be what I wanted her to be (shortly after the runaway incident, Tori's mother made me eat tomato soup, which is far worse than having to eat peas).   And if I'm honest, the thing that makes me the maddest in this suffering(s) is that God is not like my 6 yr old image of Tori Johnson's mother.  At some point I decided that He would never make me go through hard things, and every time I experience suffering I get ticked off at Him for not being the God I decided He would be.

I have to die to that way of thinking... "learn to think like him."  I have to.


Live in Peace,


4 comments:

togetherforgood said...

I love you. I'm sorry you're going through pain. Today, no cliches or pat answers. Pain sucks. Sometimes God's Word is bitter to swallow. Always for our best-- like the bitter pills I take every morning-- but still hard to get down.

Just, love to you.

Deb Colarossi said...

Love from me as well Denise- I don't like to hear that you are in pain. Hoping and praying for it to pass..xo

In Wonder said...

i hear you... It has been a difficult Jan-March for us. Just one "little" thing after another that starts to feel so big and never-ending. Your words are an encouragement and testimony. Just one moment at a time...I was just thinking/whining in my head "God gives me more than I can handle" and I read this. Yes, He does. and then He gives words of courage from fellow "sufferers" following Him. ☺ so cool. Praying you will have rest from your pain. http://natepyle.com/confronting-the-lie-god-wont-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle/

Gina @ Not So Random Stuff said...

Praying for you, for strength and peace and for God's perfect plan revealed right in the middle of where you are.