The glory of it all
Well, this part of the semester is always an incredibly busy, frustrating and altogether stressful time in the life of students here at VU. This semester has been tough for me specificlly, what with health issues and family issues, ministr issues and all of that that have come up.
I have a hard time coming to terms with the hardships that have come up in recent months. With health problems, and taking ownership of my own shortcomings and wrongful actions, and then having to juggle ministry and academic issues… this has been a crazy time. a hard time. a depressing time, and a joyous time. Its really been a roller-coaster of a ride through life. and I have found myself over the last few months thinking “Stop the world, I want to get off!”
we are talking through genetics in my Worldview class today, and I am hearing people saying that they might, if given the possibility, make genetic changes to their children in order to make them “better people”, take away acne, or make them blonde-haired and blue-eyed, or simply a guarantee that it will be a boy or a girl before the baby is even conceived. They also discussed whether they would change genetic tendencies to different diseases and medical problems.
I would definitely be tempted to do this… especially with my background. Would i take away all of the medical problems i have gone through? Im not sure… because the hardships I’ve had to undergo in my life have definitely made me into the person I am today. But it is not at all fun going through it- especially now, when im staring at problems in my lfie that we cant even name other then their consequences, I dont like it. thse things throw me into depression, and into bad days in my life and hard times… I wouldnt choose to go through this if I didnt have to.
But then, I was having a conversation with a mentor this morning who said to me that every “deep” person he has met has had to go through some sort of hardship in his life. He talked about Rembrandt, and how he started off being a young painter full of Piss and Vinegar- then later in life, that same artist was able to paint his “Prodigal Son”. What an incredible piece of artwork, and how deep the sorrow you can feel of the son, and the joy of the father welcoming him back home. If you look at this mans past, however, you find out that his first wife past away, leaving him sith a few children, then 2 of them died, then he got remarried, and had more kids, then his second wife died, and all but one of his children ended up passing away until, as an old man, he ended up empoverished and alone.
This man had to go through intense pain and hardship to be able to be as intense and effective of an artist as he was. so… maybe pain is a good thing? Maybe there is a benefit to the amount of hardship a person goes through- a wisdom that is beneficial to the world and the individual alike.
In reworking my own past… There may be incredible depth of insight that has been given to me because of my story, and it may be incredibly helpful to the kingdom. Is this the glory of it all? That we are in harsh and painful situations, we are promised good will come out of it? Is it that very fact that glory comes out of pain that can make the pain bearable, even valuable?
I heard a conversation lately between two people who were discussing the benifits of pain and suffering in the world. One person said “you see… without suffering, there would be no compassion!” and the other peson said “tell that to people who suffer…”.
The problem of pain is not one that is quelled easily, but whether it is ever resolved or not, you have the promise that Jesus cares, and takes notice of our pain, and promises to make things out to be good according to God’s intentions.
Maybe this is what Christ meant when He promised us He would never leave us or forsake us.
I heard a song years ago that truly spoke to these questions in my mind, and gave me a sense of purpose and hope. Perhaps, if you are going through this pain as well, it may help you:
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there’ll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain