Thursday, April 7, 2011

suffering turned into shamelessness

I've moved into the book of James in my quiet time study material. I'm just in chapter 1 (day 4) and for today, the guide has me rereading versus 1-11 again. It then directs me to Romans, where trials are addressed as well. The question is, "What happens as a result of trials?"
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
The quick answer is that suffering produces endurance, which builds character, then giving us hope without shame.
The thought out, pondered over answer leads me to this... In times of trials we are usually totally humbled. Personal experience: our losing Nathan. I was/am humbled over the reminder that it's not my body that sustains life; it's only through the hand of God that life is created and completed. My body was fine. Nathan's body was fine. But somewhere along the way fluid production stopped that week. Who knows, fluid could've been low because Nathan had already been gone and I was without his production those two days before we discovered it. Or it could've been the lack of fluid production from him or me that stopped his ability to live. Regardless, as a woman, whose responsibility it is to house and sustain another human being, it's humbling when that doesn't happen as it is "supposed to." We realize we can't do it on our own. So, in that humbling time, God sustains us. We have to have patience, endurance, and reliance on Him. Enter the character-building. Personal experience: I am a different woman than I was on May 23, 2008. My character, my personality, my actions and thoughts about things are now different. I see life through a different lens (haha, how appropriate for a photographer ;). The byproduct of that character change? Hope. A breath of fresh air. The realization that there is hope of a future. God is carrying us, sustaining us. Personal experience: This God-given hope allowed us the trust in Him to step out and try conceiving another child. Zane is here because of that cultivated hope. Praise God for hope! The combination of the endurance, the character-building, and the produced hope leads to a life without shame. Whatever it is that is going to hit next (good or bad), will not lead me to hang my head. God's love has been poured into my heart by the Holy Spirit through the saving faith that allowed me this progression. Personal experience: I am here blogging about our loss. I have been able to extend God's love, give testimony to His graciousness, and walk the grief walk with others. There is no shame in humbling myself to feel grief and sadness again as God allows me to minister to others.
I sure don't like the suffering and trials, but I can't help but be in wonder when I stop to look at what He does with them!


Courtney K. said...

Loved this post. So open and honest and SUCH an important message! It's always amazing to look back [months and years later] after extensive trials and struggles and SEE all of the good that God worked through the situation. Hugs!

Miranda Hartrampf said...

i LOVE the book of James i could go on and on... such a great post !!