How to suffer graciously….a concept I’ve never bothered to ponder before. But since going under the knife, this thought keeps coming back. What in the world does it mean to suffer graciously and why would I even think about doing it? It kind of sounds like an oxymoron. And the thought of suffering in and of itself would make me want to run…until now.
Being gracious during hardship or heartache is not a character trait I’m known for. I mentioned in the previous post about wrestling with God, digging my heels in. I desire to obey Him in my heart yet in my flesh I still want what I want. That, if you’ve ever had a front row seat to watch, is NOT a gracious sight to behold. When suffering, I’ve been everything but gracious. And this is not said as to be hard on myself, ( I hear my accusers -wink wink), but to merely state the facts.
Much like an old piece of furniture that desperately needs refinished, it must first be stripped of all its layers and years of paint coats, and stains. It must be sanded down over and over and over until finally it has reached its barest form, smooth and clean. Then and only then can the grainy lines and knots be seen and it is ready to accept its new stain and finish. You could say that’s just where I am since the surgery of my heart. As I’ve continued to convalesce with thoughts that are not my own, this gracious suffering has hooked me and so I am on a quest to find out what it looks like, what it means. I am ready for the new stain and finish that God desires to apply to my heart and life. I’m ready to follow him wherever He takes me, to give up the deepest longings of my flesh, to live only for His love and to learn to suffer graciously. The way Jesus suffered for me. I want to be stained with His grace and with that l must remember that He does not promise me a life of earthly happiness, but in whatever I suffer He does promise me an abiding joy found only in Him. Thank you Jesus.