Thursday, December 18, 2014

Glory and Suffering

Every now and again, there is a song that comes on the radio that seems to really speak to exactly where I'm at. Usually I like to run or get outside when I need to clear my head or pray, but sometimes a song just grabs me and kinda hits me in the face. The Hurt and the Healer by MercyMe is one that is fairly popular right now (at least enough that it's played on the radio pretty often) that I've really connected with recently.

One of the lines in the songs is "where glory meets my suffering." This has felt like my lifeline during this rough season for me, because it's a great reminder that God doesn't leave us alone when we are down. Instead, that is when His glory shines through the pain and meets us where we are at. How amazing is it that God is willing to meet me in the midst of my pain and suffering???? That I do not follow a God who leaves me alone to struggle and then picks me up on the other side, but one who walks beside me and give me strength in the moment. In reality, this line really represents the core of our faith. Jesus (glory) came to earth and left His place in heaven to provide a way for everyone to be freed from sin (suffering). The ultimate representation of God's glory, Jesus Himself, met us in our ultimate suffering of being bound by sin...and because of that we are forever made free...DAYENU! But just that act of salvation was not enough for God, so He continues to extend His glory for our suffering daily, hourly, every minute that we are suffering. What a God we serve!

A few weeks ago in the car, my mom and I were talking about this song, and she mentioned that she had thought the line was "when glory NEEDS my suffering." Well that kinda changes things...why would a God who is glorious need (or want) us to suffer? For I while I thought about this (even after we determined that's not actually what the song says...haha). Does glory need suffering? What does that mean about God?

And I came to the conclusion that ABSOLUTELY glory needs suffering. It couldn't be glory without it. If you walk into a room in the middle of the day and turn a light on, it doesn't get that much brighter. BUT, in the middle of the night, that same room will be completely illuminated when the light is turned on. I think that's a great representation of how our lives look...if everything is always perfect and nothing is going wrong, God's glory CANNOT shine brightly. When things are good, we can become dangerously close of losing sight of how brightly God's glory can shine. When things are dark and suffering is all we can see so much that darkness is overwhelming, it's in those moments that God's glory is able to shine all that much brighter.

Does that mean that God wants us to suffer? NO. But the reality is that we live in a world full of pain and suffering. We will not have perfect lives as believers, if anything the struggles may seem all that more real and challenging because we are more aware of the battle between our flesh and the spirit. So when that suffering comes in our lives, while it may be some of the most trying and difficult times to get through, God IS always there in the midst of those dark moments. And I do believe that it is in those moments that He can shine the brightest.

Right now, LIFE IS HARD. I'm not going to sugar coat it or pretend anymore that nothing is wrong. But at the same time that life is hard, GOD IS GOOD, and His glory is shining brightly. I may not see everything now, but I do believe that God has a purpose and that he can use my struggles to bring glory to Him. Not sure how it's all going to play out, and absolutely I hope I reach the end of this season of suffering soon, but until then, I know that my hurt and my Healer are coming together in accordance with God's plan.

Why?
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn't come from being explained
Jesus please don't let this go in vain
You're all I have
All that remains

So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Breathe
Sometimes I feel it's all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What's left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It's the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood
When mercy takes it's rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear you say "It's over now"

Jesus come and break my fear
Wake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide

"The Hurt and the Healer"
MercyMe

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