Imagine the Gospel without any suffering.
No mention of the sin in the garden.
No mention of the murder of Abel.
No mention of the flood or the tower of Babel.
No wandering in the wilderness or battles of war for the Israelites.
No mention of the trials and failures of men.
No mention of the suffering of the cross.
I realize that often times this is the gospel I want to portray to the world. I don’t want to share the testimony of my struggles with sin. I instead focus on where God has brought me, making the years of struggle into a moment. I leave others feeling I have it all together. Not willing to share that I’m just barely pieced back together by the glue of God’s grace and forgiveness.
I don’t want to share the areas where God has corrected me. I am more protective of the areas He is still correcting me. I don’t want to admit I’m wandering around in the wilderness of disobedience and pride.
I fail to share the trials I am facing as I am walking through. I don’t share in the valley times. I only share the testimony of the finished product from the mountaintop.
I don’t share of my failures. In my pride I stand, suffering alone. My own insecurities keep me from allowing people in to the pain and rawness of my failures and suffering.
As a therapist, one of the techniques I teach people is mindfulness – being present in the moment. Today, God spoke to me through this scripture about the mindfulness of being truly present in relationships. We have to allow others with us in the moment for the true glory of God’s work in our life to be seen. We don’t need to be ashamed of where we are – unless in disobedience and pride we choose to stay there. However, for people to truly see God’s hand in our lives we must allow others to be truly present with us in our Christian walk.
Jesus suffered in His walk. He knew what it was like to feel alone, betrayed, forsaken. If our Savior felt these things, it is only natural that we would also experience these times. Jesus allowed His walk to bring glory to God, and us back to Him. We must also allow our walk during these times when we want to hide in shame, to bring glory to God and draw others to God.