Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tribulation and Joy

So I was listening to The Effect the other day. It's alternative Christian rock, and although a 41 year old school counselor is probably not their target demographic, I really like the music.

At 8:00 they have a show by Pastor Britt Merrick. This particular night he was speaking on Romans 5:3-11

(NIV) We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

He referenced Job, who, when all things were taken away, worshiped God and praised. In the midst of his life falling apart, he worshiped. Are you kidding me? Brit said we should rejoice in our tribulations. Well, not exactly in the trial itself, but in the fact that God will see me through. In the midst of tribulation God is getting ready to do something to me, or through me, or around me.

Am I seriously supposed to rejoice in my arthritis? Surely whatever is going to happen - to me or through me or around me - could be done some other way.

I'm not saying I disagree with the sermon, or the scriptures. I'm just saying ... that is not an easy point of view to adopt.

I have to admit that knowing God is going to use this arthritis is an exciting prospect. But it doesn't seem exciting enough to create joy in me.

Where is the joy in pain?

Mom and dad gave me a book titled Pain, The Gift Nobody Wants.

I never it. I got rid of it along with hundreds of other books. Maybe it's time to find it again and give it a read.

Pain - a gift? How?
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