Destination: Perfect, Journey: Rough

Welcome to MONDAY MANNA, hosted by Joanne at An Open Door. Go on over for more perspectives on the verse for today.

We tend to think of God's will as a comfortable thing. God wants us to be happy, doesn't He? We ask for rescue, relief, restoration, relaxation, or recovery when we pray, and then dutifully tack on "your will be done" on the end, crossing our fingers in the hope that His will is the same as ours.

Then we get to a verse like this one from Isaiah 53:10 and our theology takes a nasty tumble.

"Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand" (NIV).

The verse refers to the mission of Christ and His death, and while the latter half is full of promise for a positive outcome, we wish we could skip the first part. We have a hard time wrapping our minds around a loving Father who would willingly "crush" His Son. We know it was for us that Christ died, that He accepted His Father's will out of love for us, knowing it was the only way to open up the way back to God for us.

But still it boggles the mind and we prefer to dwell on the positive aspects, the gains for Him and for us once the suffering was all done. We cling to our gains: forgiveness, salvation, eternity in glory, a new life, purpose, hope, suffering…

Whoa! Suffering?

As I read the verse in Isaiah, another verse comes to mind that we find in Romans 8:32, (NIV): "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" Taken by itself, or in its immediate context, the verse starts us humming the Hallelujah chorus as we consider all that Christ's suffering has brought us. But if we look at the broader context, from verses 18-39, we realize that we who share in God's glory will also share in the suffering of His Son.

God graciously wills the suffering for us, along with all the benefits. Nothing will separate us from the benefits, but we will not be spared the journey that parallels that of our precious Lord.

"For your sake," writes Paul in verse 36 as he quotes Psalm 44:22, "we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

They tell me that all the pain of childbirth is forgotten when a mother holds that tiny, new life in her arms. And so it is when we think about Christ's journey and the one that we travel through life. The pain of the journey is forgotten in the joy of arriving at the destination. But we still need to take the journey—it is God's gracious will.

Comments

  1. Yes, it's hard to understand, isn't it? I also think of a parent spanking a child. It must be done, even though the child will "suffer" for a little bit. The punishment will bring good results.

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  2. So powerful. Just pondering the suffering as His will is hard - but in the same way encouraging when you are going through suffering as well. Thanks for contributing, sweetie.

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