I am memorizing Colossians piece by piece this year. I'm behind by a week or two because I'm stuck on a verse. (My week of being mad at God may also have played a part in why I'm behind) In Colossians 1v24, Paul says: Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the Church.
This verse causes me to stumble. Paul rejoices in his suffering? He keeps looking for more suffering for the sake of the Church? Was he nuts? I mediate, walk away and come back, all the while with these themes of beauty and suffering running through my head. As I mix together the ingredients for dinner, sweep flour off the floor and calm the screaming child, my heart continues to churn. Why suffering? Why should we feel pain so deeply?
Last Thursday, I had a meltdown. In tears, I screamed at my husband that I wished I could remove my emotions, cut them out. I wanted drugs that would shut down my feelings, numb me, so I could be an automaton performing my task perfectly without any extra emotion. I feel too broken to be worth something, as if my pain hinders me from being valuable. I cry over and over again that I didn't ask to be broken.
Much later I realized that it is because of my brokenness that I seek God. When things get hard, I cry out. Sometimes, I shut down, shut God out and walk away. But more often, it is in these hard times that I grow closer to God, that I am refined. Without such deep pain in my life, I might not seek God. This answer seems too simple for such deep questions and hurt. I know that there are many reasons for pain, sin being chief among them. But I am comforted for the moment with the knowledge that pain sparks change, primarily in my relationship with God.
Celebrating the broken redeemed