Learning to Suffer Well CV Lay-off Day:4
This morning, I decided it would be nice to put on a little make-up, do my hair, and actually wear real clothes. Just as I was about to apply my mascara, I heard one of my boys wailing and crying, “Mama!”. I opened my door and saw my boy, who loves all things creepy-crawly, sobbing.
In his hands, he held a plastic container with the remnants of his favorite hermit crab, Stewart Little. After consoling him, I suggested he give Stewart a proper burial in the back yard; I was hoping it would give my tender-hearted son a little closure. When he came back in the house, he crumpled into my arms, this time, wailing. He kept repeating the same phrase, “He was so young, he didn’t get to grow up.” Finally, I realized his sorrow wasn’t so much about Stewart Little; this was about grieving the loss of Justin, coupled with our new routine at home with Tim’s lay-off.
I pulled my boy in a little closer and whispered, “You cry every tear you need to cry, buddy. It’s going to be okay. I love you.”
It took that jarring moment to remind me that our kids can feel the stress that we, the adults, are carrying. When I looked into my boy’s red-brimmed eyes, my heart ached for him. Things aren’t awful around here, but I am not myself. I am preoccupied, I am concerned, and I am struggling to not obsess about the future.
Last month, I spoke about suffering at a women’s conference. In my talk, I asked the question, how do we suffer well?
The apostle Peter had a lot to say about suffering in the book of 1 Peter. I especially love what he wrote in 1 Peter 4:19, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”
Now let’s pull this verse apart a bit:
- To entrust: to place down, to deposit, to commit ourselves to His charge
- Soul: the very seat of our affections and will, our whole being
- Faithful Creator: He who sustains all of Creation and hold all things together
In essence, in our suffering, we entrust (deposit) our souls (the very seat of our affections and will) to our faithful Creator (the One who sustains all of Creation and holds all things together) while doing good.
With this in mind, I don’t need to figure out tomorrow. Instead, I submit myself and all of my ten-thousand emotions to the One who sustains all of Creation. Now that’s hope! He is faithful to do according to his will all that He has purposed in our lives. Let us cling to Him.