Trading a Burden for a Life of Weight

I don’t like suffering any more than the next guy. It feels like a burden.

Since I wrote my last post (though posted last week, it was written a few weeks ago), we’ve been through a lot as a family. Most of it related to a hospital stay for my wife. Don’t worry – she’s now fine and in good recovery. But it’s only the most recent thing to impact us in a long string of spiritual conflict over the past two months, which may revolve around my writing the book I mentioned in my last post.

As I was trying to get back to my writing one day late last week, I simply had to get out of my office for a “mental reset”. So, on my way to our local coffee shop, I started listening to the song “Born Again” by the Newsboys:

This is what it is, this is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn’t wanna fall but I don’t have to crawl
I met the one with two scarred hands

Giving Him the best of
Everything that’s left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been born again

Reflecting on recent events, I have even more resolve to “take my stand” and to be influential in the way God wants me to be. It’s some kind of combination between a total surrender to God and a defiant resistance against Satan’s attempts to thwart what God is clearly up to.

On my drive, I spontaneously prayed, “Lord, give my life weight”. He immediately responded in my spirit, “I AM”. I took this as a reminder of both who He is in His personal name (the name Moses got from God when he asked when he was at rock bottom) and that He’s using our present suffering as a means of grace to produce in me that weight and influence.

2 Corinthians 4:8-18 reminds us about God’s redemptive use of suffering in the believer’s life:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies… That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭8-11, 16-18‬ NLT)

“They (our sufferings) produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them (those same sufferings)”. The very sufferings we endure are working to produce a “weight” to our lives that anchor us to Him, even in the midst of life’s hurricanes.

I don’t always like this journey. But at least when I can make meaning out of it, I can set my face like a flint against Satan’s constant distractions and towards Almighty God, Who is both anchoring me in the storm and using the storm to build my character and give me even more influence for Him in this fallen world.