I know a couple whose daughter has squandered every opportunity she has been given – and there were plenty of them.
The couple invested hours of one-on-one time with their daughter; they sacrificed so she could go to a good high school; and they made every effort to encourage her in her faith. But shortly after going to college, she picked the wrong friends, started abusing drugs, got horrible grades and has been arrested for assaulting her roommate.
I know a man who has an ongoing chronic condition that doctors can’t fix. You’d never know it if you spent time with him – he doesn't talk about the embarrassing symptoms or the limitations. While he longs for some medical breakthrough that will provide a cure, there’s little hope for that and for whatever reason, God hasn’t healed him.
I know a number of single people who long to be married. They’ve checked all the right boxes – they’re financially stable, have healthy relationships with others, and they're faithful to God. Yet, nobody seems to notice them.
I was driving to work the other day and I got frustrated as I came to God with one of my own requests for Him to end suffering in my life. A thought occurred to me and I said it over and over again: "This is my story, this is my story." By that, I meant, "This is my cross to bear. It's my lot; and I need to live out that story without resentment or despair."
I started sensing that “this is my story” wasn’t quite right – it was almost right. Then it came to me: This isn’t your story, this is Christ’s story. It’s His story and you’re in it – not the other way around.
Jesus' suffering did not stop on the cross. He's still suffering with His children because He literally lives inside our bodies (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Jesus goes through the very circumstances we are experiencing every day. This is His story, the story of the suffering that came after His resurrection.
“Since we are His children, we are His heirs," but we don’t just inherit a happy ending in heaven. Yes, “together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering” (Romans 8:17).
Suffering is not an exceptional state that God will always fix. It's part of the package on this side of heaven, part of the story. But we do not walk through the pages of our stories alone.
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, writes Himself onto the pages, into the very characters He created (Hebrews 12:2).
Jesus bears the burden with us until the surprise ending nobody could’ve imagined. That’s His story, the one of a Savior who, in our suffering, “is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
Take courage. The plot of your story may have taken a dark turn but you're not alone. The author of everything good in your life is right there in it with you.