On a slow morning in December , I said those words to God in prayer.
I wanted to live out these commands, but exhortations like this in the midst of suffering often take time to travel from the head to the heart, affecting how we live and producing genuine joy. As came to a close, I doubted I would ever be able to name with specificity any goodness that came from the previous eighteen months.
'Game Of Thrones:' Season 8 Is Suffering From One Simple Problem
Facing this season with honesty in my journal and prayers was the beginning of being broken open by God. It smashes through the floor of what you thought was the basement of your soul and reveals a cavity below, and then it smashes through that floor and reveals a cavity below that… Climbing out of the valley [of suffering] is not like recovering from a disease. God slowly began to reveal to me the ways he had shaped me in the valley so that I came out of it different.
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While reading 1 Peter one morning in March, I noticed this verse was subtly divided into two seasons:. This verse is referring more so to life with God after we die when he fully perfects, confirms, strengthens, and establishes us, but there is ample evidence in scripture to show that he does this along the way as we live our lives on this planet, too.
With these thoughts in mind, I revisited the way I approached passages that call for joy in the midst of suffering. I realized I had focused so much effort on their beginning so that I mustered up any resemblance of joy while paying little attention to the rest of the passages:. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. It denotes a causal relationship between the fruits of our suffering and the joy in our suffering.
In other words, knowing that God will produce fruit from our suffering becomes a reason for joy in our suffering. Rather than expending all of our energy on this question, I suggest a better use of our time might be to reflect on the fruit from our suffering. With pen in hand, I was skeptical, but I attempted to jot down some gifts in March that came out of the hardships we faced after moving to New Orleans.
I discovered a lot more of them than I anticipated. Some of the gifts involved personal and spiritual growth. Others came to mind like the trust Will and I gained in one another and God. A simple exercise in reflection after some distance from the circumstances eventually did bring about joy and gratitude because God began to reveal the ways he had been faithful to perfect, establish, confirm, and strengthen his children.
As David Brooks wrote, we come out of valleys different. The difference between now and back then is on the rewatch; while earlier seasons would reward the viewer upon closer examination, the later seasons are better left alone.
Cultivating Hope in a Season of Suffering | Doug Addison with Abi Stumvoll [Episode 88]
One Simple Problem with Season 8 , as well as my episode recaps:. Episode 3: " The Long Night ".
Episode 4: " The Last of The Starks ". Episode 5: " The Bells ".
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Episode 1: " Winterfell ". I'm fascinated by storytelling, in all its myriad forms; mythology, fairy tales, films, television, and urban legends. I write about film, television, pop culture, and other fun stuff. Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin.