We have always wondered why we tend to dwell in our suffering longer than we should. Truth is, it was our choice in the first place to do so. We always wonder what is God trying to do with our suffering or not do with our suffering. The truth is as simple as this:
Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest“.
So simple, yet so hard to comprehend, so easy yet so hard to do.
Have you had this experience where your kid did something terribly wrong and was too afraid to tell you about it. Then when you asked him to come to you because you wanted to just give him a hug, he refuses? This is exactly how most of us feel when we did something terribly wrong in the sight of our Lord. When He asks us to come to Him, we refuse, because we feel guilty, afraid and worthless. Guilty because we should not have done what we did, but yet we did. Afraid because we do not see what kind of punishment we are about to face with the sins we have committed. Worthless because our sins wear and tear us down to the point that we find ourselves not worthy of God’s forgiveness and love for us.
But Jesus also said, there is joy to all our suffering as it is stated in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-8)
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God
For indeed we are blessed when we are inflicted with suffering. It is through suffering that we come into realisation of ourselves, more so, in realisation of who God really is. It is with suffering do we know what life is truly about. It is not about flaunting our success, wealth, happiness and blessings on Facebook. It certainly is not about shooting down civillan planes and bombing of a city that ruins the lives of so many people, so many innocent people. But it is about how God makes himself known to us that He is in control of all things in our lives. We have lived a life of denial and deceifulness, thinking that we can take control of our lives, of this world, of everyone. We think that we are always right and happy and we do not feel for anyone else who suffers in the midst. We think that only God blesses us and not anyone else because we have done everything we “think is right”. But there will be a point where God points us back to His way, His thoughts, His life.
So as the topic of the post today says “Come to Me”, Jesus is asking those who have long wandered far away from His presence to come back to Him. Our sufferings is a sign that we have wandered off too far. We feel a void in our relationship with God as though God has left us. Truth is, He never had. He has always been by our side, watching over us and making sure we are pointed back to the direction of righteousness and love that He wants us to follow.
Why did I come up with this post? Well, I am one of the wanderers. I admit that I have misused that wisdom God gave me for my own glory. I have always thought that I am right and others are wrong about me. Maybe I have suffered too much discrimination, heartaches, hurt from betrayals and brokenness from human relationships so much so that I demand every rights to myself. I deserve to be treated right. These thoughts are signs that I have abandoned God in my life. Before I came to writing this post, God warned me that I ought to love Him with all my heart, soul and mind. God flashed the message of love at me so many times, and so many times I ignored Him. I have been seeking justice and truth for the hurt and pain I suffered. I sought apologies for people so much so that I demanded to be treated with respect. God had to intervene. I have wandered too far off with my thoughts and ways.
As it is written in Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts“. That was the first message I received when God intervened in my navigation and steered the helm back towards Him.
Then He started asking me if I saw Jesus in the midst of the “clouds” that obscured my path. “Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through these clouds that the Spirity of God is teaching us how to walk by faith” (Oswald Chambers). Of course, I couldn’t see Jesus at that point and my doubtful mind started thinking “it is easier said than done”. But what is the purpose of me going through those clouds and it is not just once, it has been repeatedly obscuring my path towards a blessed and righteous life with God. “What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself” (Oswald Chambers). So it seems. God’s purpose of me steering my helm into the clouds is so that I can see Jesus, walking on waters and to build my faith that He is there waiting to reach out for me in the open sea. If I were to walk towards Jesus admist the turmoils of life, “staying calm, faithful and unconfused, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me” (Oswald Chambers). Obedience to God is the goal. Can I be obedient enough to just “Come”? Or the cares of this world has hindered me from doing so?
Then came the second part of His teaching – the Teaching of Disillusionment. Disillusionment is “having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions” (Oswald Chambers). Truly the hurts of my life has obscured my judgment and love for those who need it. God says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:7,16). Again my brain says “it is easier said than done”. I even twitted about this. But it is going go be easier said AND done with God in us. “Disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without cynicism or stinging and better criticism” (Oswald Chambers). I reaslied at this point that I have been living a critical and cynic life. Everyone is an enemy to my being. I trust no one but myself. To me, whatever they do, is only to glorify and caress their pride. Selfish, yet they get blessed so much. Sounds unfair right? But it is not the way God wants us to see them as. You may think that your friends on Facebook have good lives – eating good food, having good family vacation, good wedding ceremonies, good this good that, but truth is, life is not as smooth and good as it seems to be. All those postings on Facebook are controlled by the account users themselves and they can choose what they want to post. Nobody posts the disasters that happened in their lives nor do they post about their suffering and unhappiness. Everybody just wants to show off to everybody that their lives are better than others. It’s a life of comparing with one another.
“Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief or pain stem from our illusions” (Oswald Chambers). We live a life of denial. We are not truthful to ourselves and not to others. We put on masks everyday at work, at bible studies, at congregations, meetings, etc. We hide our true feelings for fear of being judged. I have a problem with putting on masks. I can never put on a straight face when deep inside I am rotting. I will feel so fake and unworthy of pursuing a friendship being like that. Then there’s another part of me that can never accept for people for who they really are when they don’t put on their masks. “If we love someone yet do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding from a human being something he/she cannot possible give. Only Jesus Christ can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart” (Oswald Chambers).
This is my suffering ladies and gentlemen. I put my trust onto humans (not that I can help it) and I ended up despairing of anyone I put my trust upon. I wish I could’ve loved God more. I wish I could’ve trusted God more. All I can do now is to wish. I am weak and I can’t do that, not even for my own sake.
Then came the revelation from God. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). And more revalations came after that:
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters
Give ear and come to me; listen that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
It’s all about coming back to a heart of worship unto the Lord. It’s all about coming back to Him as the song goes:
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship
and it’s all about you, all about you Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the things I’ve made it
When it’s all about you, all about you Jesus”
“God will bring us back in countless ways to the same point over and over again. And He never tires of bringing us back to that one point until we learn the lesson. Whatever it may be, God will point it out with persistence until we become entirely His” (Oswald Chambers). When God spoke to James, He said “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4).
Thank you God for your amazing love … You are indeed my Saviour ….AMEN