For years I've been thinking about suffering, and what my response is to be to it as a Christian. I know that "in everything" we are to "give thanks," but how do I do that, practically speaking, in 2008? I also know that we are told that "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
A while back I heard lyrical poetry, that while not explaining things, helped mask the pain of suffering. In a song I heard "isn't this world something wonderful, that we were made to suffer both its honesty and cruelty? Today!" As I said, the song didn't answer the questions, but I found some comfort in knowing that suffering isn't something that is exclusive to me.
Well, today I discovered that Adelaide Procter did a better job than I have ever done in thinking through the reason for suffering. A century and a half ago Procter wrote a hymn that included this verse: I thank Thee more that all our joy Is touched with pain, That shadows fall on rightest hours, That thorns remain; So that earth’s bliss may be our guide, And not our chain."
While I still have a lot to learn about suffering, and my response as a Christian, but now I have a little better understanding.
- I’m from New York but my driver’s license lists that my address is Ohio. My passport has a number of stamps in it. I’m the youngest of six, yet oldest son. I have a number after my initials, but not my name. I like music. I drink coffee at all times of the day. I am a follower of Jesus. I own my own business. I watch bonus features on DVD’s. For four months each year my wife and I are the same age. “I pledge allegiance to a country without borders, without politicians.” I am an ordained pastor. I’ve eaten raw horse meat. I’m fifteen inches taller than my wife, but I look up to her. I still prefer buying CDs to downloading music. I’m a night owl, who doesn’t mind getting up early. I like to shop, and my wife doesn’t. I like to play games. I moved to another country nine days after my wedding. I sometimes quote random lyrics. I believe in miracles. I prefer desktops to laptops. I like listening to audio books. I listen to hockey games on the internet. I have five sons. I'm living life mid sentence.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Right now I am having a flashback to years-gone-by. Before I was married I usually dreaded holidays because that meant being alone. So, on many occasions, I'd volunteer to work the holidays to try and get my mind off of my loneliness. Since I got married I haven't really dealt with holiday issues, that is until today. Today I was extremely tired, which I am sure didn't help matters, and part of the day I didn't really want to be around a large group of people. However I was around a lot of people, many of whom I'd never met before, and so today wasn't very relaxing for me. In the end today wasn't a bad day, but it helped to provide some balance in my thoughts regarding holidays. I use to think that anything was better than loneliness, but now I am realizing that sometimes too much of a good thing can be...too much.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
My life has changed a fair amount since the birth of my son this year. Before Reuel was born I didn't like to stay at home all that much, and would have rather been on the go. But since he joined the family nearly three months ago, I'd rather spend time with my wife and boy at home than do just about anything else. Friday afternoon I was spending some time playing with Reuel and when he was jabbering, he clearly said "ma ma." I didn't think much about it, until my wife said later in the day that he'd said the same thing earlier. Then tonight, when we were both together, he did it again. While I wouldn't say he's officially talking, he's more advanced than most (if not all) children I've seen before.
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