Wednesday, December 12, 2007

David Powlison On Suffering

I thought this quote by David Powlison taken from Suffering and the Sovereignty of God was particularly insightful:

So often the initial reaction to painful suffering is Why me? Why this? Why now? Why?...[then] He comes for you, in the flesh, in Christ, into suffering, on your behalf. He does not offer advice and perspective from afar; He steps into your significant suffering. He will see you through, and work with you the whole way.... This reality changes the questions that rise up in your heart. That inward-turning "why me?" quiets down, lifts it's eyes, and begins to look around.

You turn outward and new, wonderful questions form. Why You? Why You? Why would You enter this world of evils? Why would You go through loss, weakness, hardship, sorrow, and death? Why would You do this for me, of all people? But You did. You did this for the joy set before You. You did this for love. You did this showing the glory of God in the face of Christ. As that deeper question sinks home, you become joyously sane. The universe is no longer supremely about you. Yet you are not irrelevant. God's story makes you just the right size. Everything counts, but the scale changes to something that makes much more sense. You face hard times. But you have already received something better which can never be taken away. And that better something will continue to work out the whole journey long...

Finally, you are prepared to pose—and to mean—almost unimaginable questions: Why not me? Why not this? Why not now?

(HT: Josh Harris)

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