"'Anyone who intends to come with me [Jesus] has to let me lead.
You're not in the driver's seat. I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it.
Follow me and I'll show you how.'"
Mark 8:34 (The Message)
Reminds me of the bumper stickers I've seen where it says, "God is my co-pilot." No he's not! He is your pilot! The times I've tried to control my own life I have been left feeling lost. God is the One who shows me the way.
What about this "embrace suffering"? Sounds kind of masochistic, doesn't it? Jesus isn't telling us we need to ENJOY suffering, he is saying that when suffering comes, you don't have to be afraid because we know what the end is going to be like. I can suffer and survive in this life, because this life is but a blink in comparison to the eternity that awaits me. An eternity of no suffering! No pain! No tears!
It reminds me of FlyLady when she says, "You can do anything for 15 minutes." I can suffer in this lifetime, because in the grand scheme of things, this lifetime is about the equivalent to 15 minutes. I can take pain - so long as I know it's going to end. Sort of like child birth. If we went by the pain level, we'd only give birth once. But, we know the pain is going to end and when it does end, we'll be holding a precious little bundle of joy! A gift of life!
Well, the same is true of our eternity. We, Christians, can survive the pain of this life, because we know a precious gift is waiting for us on the other side! Cling to that and we can get through any heart-ache in this life.