A small flame

A small flame

if you would write the story differently

One of the books I am reading right now is When God Weeps - Why our Suffering Matters to the Almighty by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes. Love this passage::

First, despite Christ's compassionate death for our sins, God's plan - not plan B or C or D, but his plan - calls for all Christians to suffer, sometimes intensely. To encourage us, he may write some light moments into the script of our lives - he may include adventure or romance. An amusing situation will get us chuckling, and an occasional twist of plot may delight us to tears, for God loves to give. But without fail, some scenes are going to break your heart, some of your favorite characters will die, and the movie may end earlier than you wish.

Second, God's plan is specific. He doesn't say, "Into each life a little rain must fall" and then aim a hose in earth's general direction and see who gets the wettest. He doesn't reach for a key, wind up nature with its sunny days and hurricanes, then sit back and watch the show. He doesn't let Satan prowl about totally unrestricted. He doesn't believe in a hands-off policy of governing. He's not our planet's absent land-lord. Rather, he screens the trials that come to each of us - allowing only those that accomplish his good plan, because he takes no joy in human agony. These trials aren't' evenly distributed from person to person. This can discourage us, for we aren't privy to his reasons. But in God's wisdom and love, every trial in a Christian's life is ordained from eternity past, custom-made for that believer's eternal good, even when it doesn't seem like it. Nothing happens by accident... not even tragedy... not even sins committed against us.

Third, the core of his plan is to rescue us from our sins. Our pain, poverty, and broken hearts are not his ultimate focus. He cares about them, but they are merely symptoms of the real problem. God cares most - not about making us comfortable - but about teaching us to hate our sins, grow spiritually, and love him. To do this, he gives us salvation's benefits only gradually, sometimes painfully gradually. In other words, he lets us continue to feel much of sin's sting while we are headed for heaven. This constantly reminds us of what we're being delivered from, exposing sin for the poison it is. Thus evil (suffering) is turned on it's head to defeat evil (sin) - all to the praise of God's wisdom.

Last, every sorrow we taste will one day prove to be the best possible thing that could have happened. We will thank God endlessly in heaven for the trials he sent us here. This is not Disneyland - it is truth.

No comments: