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Puzzle Pieces

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Suffering is a like a puzzle without all the pieces, should we try and add some pieces to the picture or not? My Dad once said to me that I would need a theology of suffering if wanted to minister to people, I thought he was being defeatist at the time! (I was wrong . . )

What puzzle pieces can we put down (ie practise, believe for, know as true, etc)?

Puzzle Piece: God is good
I have heard people in the middle of terrible suffering determidly say ‘God is Good’. There is no rational answer to this and why it helps. God is good to us all the time is absolute truth. Those testimonies tell me that each of us can journey to that place where we can say that God is good, regardless of circumstances
Puzzle Piece: Honesty and Lamenting
One I find very hard, King David and Job can give us a lead . . ‘the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away’ is oft quoted, less so is a following verse, ‘at no time did Job sin by accusing God of wrongdoing’. So get honest, scream and cry out at God ‘why?’ He doesn’t ‘take away’, but He wants to hear you cry out that sometimes it feels like He did! After Job said this he moved on, staying in that place could lead to bitterness, I guess.
Puzzle Piece: Relinquish and still believe
I sometimes mix up relinquish with ‘be defeated’. We need help to submit to God, not circumstances, wisdom to know the difference. How to love and care for each other, whilst still believing for that miracle. Praise can also help us with this . .
Puzzle Piece: Praise and Worship
Keep going at this, even in tears. It takes us somewhere closer to Him and that’s a better place to be. I don’t know all the reasons this is good, except one perhaps. Thanking God for everything takes territory off the devil. That bad thing, the devil brought it, seeking to purpose bad things through it. Thanking God for it takes it off the evil one, even though it may be painful, then it is ‘turned’ to Gods purposes, those purposes are many and varied, miraculous, wonderful and ordinary, always good though – don’t spend too much time wondering what these purposes may be, it gets knotty! (God will guide, give strength to do, etc) Paul and Silas Acts 16: 24-25
I am sure you can think of many other reasons why praise and worship might be good!
Puzzle Piece: Grace
“Surely God pours his grace into our lives to keep us going, whether we recognise his support or not,” Revd Dr Rob Bewley – one of his ‘perspectives’ after his wife died (New Wine magazine, issue 55, page 45)
Puzzle Piece: The Cross
Jesus endured suffering, He does not stand remotely or above our suffering . . Father also knows the pain of separation from His son, He wants to be close to us . .
Puzzle Piece: Destination
Our destiny is toward greater things, tell the evil one, ‘in Jesus name, you cannot steal my destiny from me’. God has a purpose, within, without, through, after, (suffering) in many yet unseen ways. Father has a destiny for you!
Puzzle Piece: Minister to others
Taking our eyes off ourselves and seeing Jesus and the Father, we began to have a perspective that is somehow widened. Have you ever been blessed by helping someone else? Either practically, through private prayer, through prayer with a person? Whatever?

I guess we could go on with many other pieces, the Holy Spirit’s ministry to us, the body of Christ (suffering and healing together). What do we really want? All the pieces, all the answers? What do we really want to wrestle with and with what/whose power? My final puzzle piece: Be a Child Think about being a child and what that means over the next few days . . At our best moments Christ is all to us and we know we are all to him, that’s where we want to go, it’s where we want to stay. Being a child in His presence is just the hardest thing for me, yet I know that’s where He wants me! Help us go there Lord! Amen

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