I heard someone say, “Certain fruit can only grow out of the soil of affliction.” This is true. I heard that on Sunday, and tonight I was speaking with a friend who lives far away. She was reminding me that she clings most closely to the undiluted truths of the Gospel, when all she has is Christ. Truly, at any given time, all we have is Christ. Nothing we possess or rely on is permanent, but Him. Nothing and no one is completely faithful, and if they come close, they still are hindered by circumstances beyond their control from being perfectly able to meet our needs and wants. Our dearest friends, our deepest loves, the objects of our strongest affections will still fade, falter and one day leave us in death. Christ is all we have. All we have is Christ. The more we begin to speak this truth to ourselves, the more merciful life will be to us. Death only has no sting, because those who are in Christ will never truly die. Hardships are only as hard as the weight you put behind them. I’m not saying life doesn’t hurt, or quits hurting if you “think positively”, quite the opposite. I’m saying the hurt is to bring us to the hurt reliever. Sometimes we stay away from Him, if all is going well.
Where are you suffering? The closer we are to Jesus, the more quickly we arrive at the comfort and peace we can have from Him. We then understand, a little better, why we hurt. And we see the glory that is beyond this momentary light affliction.
Like tying your shoes, and riding a bike, like taking a pill or memorizing your phone number, we can get better at facing affliction. The answer is faith. A practiced faith that repeats, “All I have is Christ” This isn’t a wishful thinking, this is just the way it is. All you have is Christ. Now believe it. Now suffer like you mean it. There will be inexplicable peace, found there in that place.
Oh yeah, and I suffer too.
Amy DeBurgh is the wife of her favorite preacher. She lives in the great state of Wisconsin with her husband and three big kids who are the joy and adventure of her life.