Suffering is Treasure
So, I have an AMAZING new job! It’s a job that I feel the Lord made just for me and He has been ‘making me’ for it, for years! I stand in awe of how perfect a fit it is for me and my family. My skill set fills the job requirements exactly. And the best part? I work for a ministry here in Syracuse, so I literally am working for Jesus these days. How good is God?!?
The physical location of my office is in a rectory not far from my house, which happens to be right next door to the high school where Anna and Nichole went to school. In order to get to my office, I pull in the parking lot and drive down a long driveway with the building to my left and the high school tennis courts to my right. So, every time I go to work, embracing this wonderful new venture in my life, I am confronted with the all-too-familiar cross of old. My instinct is to move on and leave it behind in every way, which I so often do day-to-day. Who wants to live in pain, if you can escape it? But now it is there before me regularly and I can’t look away. The tennis courts. Oh how the antics and stories of Anna and tennis still have a life of their own for me!
One day recently the cross got heavy – too heavy and too insistent for me to happily smile through and walk on. I had to bring Laura and Melissa into the high school for their dance rehearsal and suddenly all those days driving by the tennis courts with old feelings and memories surfacing, just bubbled up and boiled over. The pain of missing my girl was blinding. But I knew it was for a purpose. I knew it would serve me and hopefully others. I remembered the Lord speaking to my heart about this time last year, as I was preparing to give a talk. “Your suffering is your treasure.” The problem wasn’t in walking into the school or driving by the tennis courts so often. The problem was that I desired to happily walk on by and look only to the good, happy, and exciting things the Lord is doing. He’s continuously making all things new. He fills my heart with gladness and joy. I live in awe and wonder at His goodness all the time. He’s a good and generous Father desiring not only my good and my salvation, but even abundance and happiness in my life.
But none of those things would be as true for me, if I didn’t have this cross. I could never see and appreciate the joy in the same way, if I had never walked the road to Calvary with Him and with Mary. We simply don’t get the resurrection without first having the death.
So, I will walk through those days of pain, sadness, and burden, trusting my Daddy to fix it in His time and in His way. I will pray for Him to transform me for this present suffering, to make me worthy, to help me see and share the treasure. After all, it’s an honor to share the cross with Him. And he showed me that I’m not afraid of this. In fact, I was made for this. And so are we all made specifically for the cross God has allowed in our life. I am being made for this because I love Him, and the more I love Him the easier it is to bear. Somehow from the crippling moments, more joy is born. All the former good times, memories, accomplishments, and laughter that are now done and gone, are treasures of this Earth that He is helping me store up in Heaven, and Heavenly treasures don’t come cheap. In fact, they are priceless.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Mt 6:21