The quote comes from our pastor Jason Meyer who is teaching on 2 Corinthians 1 right now.
Christians do not glorify suffering. It is hard and it hurts. We don’t minimize it as if we are fake and stoic. We acknowledge that it hurts. We praise God in the midst of suffering when God shows up in our suffering. We see more of God so we praise him more. The praise is sometimes more raw. When you come face to face with your powerlessness and your inability to rescue yourself from suffering, you are positioned for a life of praise.
When you come to the end of your rope and then God comes with might, his deliverance will elicit praise. It is so important that Paul who suffered much could live a life of praise. Suffering did not make him sullen. It made him sing louder. The song came from a deeper place—it was not shallow praise, but deep praise.
Some of us are in danger of not being worshippers because we are not in touch with our weakness. Sometimes people feel pressure in the church to act like they have it altogether. Let me be frank. If you act like you always have it altogether, then you make praise impossible because you act as though you don’t need to be delivered—you act like you have arrived and don’t need grace or God anymore. How do can you urge someone to praise God with you and enjoy his deliverance if you act like you never needed it in the first place? Being in touch with your weakness and your need for deliverance, primes the pump for praise to come when the deliverance comes!
Honestly, I find this to be so incredibly true in my experience. Pastor Jason, who is also an adoptive parent, talks specifically about the suffering that adoptive parents experience as they walk their kids through the difficult times - suffering that is not temporary or alleviated in a short amount of time, but is chronic.
Let me give you one more example of redemptive suffering that is perennial. We are going to have an adoption choir Sunday night. Many parents counted not only the physical cost, but also the ongoing emotional cost of bringing brokenness into their families. They heard it as a calling. And they said “yes” to what has become some perennial joys and pains—a pointed life of sorrowful yet always rejoicing. We can support them and pray for them.
I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for a pastor who "gets it." Who doesn't dismiss the trials of parenting a hurt child, but doesn't paint a picture of doom and gloom either. Who doesn't place adoptive parents on a pedestal, but doesn't pretend that their lives are just like everyone else's.
On that note, I am so very thankful for the many friends I have with whom I can be real. Because of the public nature of this blog, I withhold many details. While wanting to be authentic and real, I am also keenly aware of my children's right to privacy. I always share truthfully, but I don't share all.
A shout of thanks to those who do know "all we go through," and support us through it. I love you more than I can say!!