Caravan Sonnet: The Legacy of Suffering

5/15/17

The Legacy of Suffering

"Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory..."
-I Peter 4:13-

"A good man leaves a legacy for his children's children."
-Proverbs 13:22-

As April faded away several weeks ago and we approached the month of May I have to admit that I sometimes silently groaned as my heart deeply aches. As a lady who has longed to be a mama for years and years I have to grudgingly admit that I view the month of celebrating Mother's Day with heartache. Am I deeply grateful for my precious mama? Absolutely yes. Do I rejoice with my friends who have been blessed with many children? Of course. Do I rejoice with my dear friends who have walked the road of infertility and this year celebrated becoming a mother? Absolutely. But is there a part of me that like many of my hurting friends who long to be a mommy that cries as we approach this date? Yes. Is there a part of me that wonders at how Proverbs 13:22 fits into my life? Yes. 

A few short days before Mother's Day I started thinking more deeply about the idea of "legacy", specifically the legacy formed in suffering. A dear former student contacted me right before Mother's Day and said, "Thank you for your mother's heart that during my time in your classroom showed the joy of Christ, and watching your faith in this trial has shown me the steadfast hope only found in Christ. You have created a legacy of faith for me." To be frank I broke down crying. My faith seems so incredibly small in this journey and I had never considered that one could leave a legacy in suffering. I always equated legacy with children, and there is a legacy left there. But there is also legacy created in other seasons of life... even in suffering where we can and we will leave a legacy.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
- Romans 8:18-

The reality is that when life is destroyed all around you it is hard to trust the truth of Romans 8. When we are faced with the death of a loved one, the unanswered prayers for healing, the loss of a job, infertility, chronic pain, broken relationships, and the loss of dreams it can literally stop us in our tracks. It catches our breathe. In many ways we expect, as I did before Mother's Day this year to silently groan and cry our tears in private till the moment passes. Like me, we want to turn the pages of the calendar days quickly so that we forget the pain. And in the midst of the "helpful and sage" advice that we are given, most of us just want to dull the crushing pain and move on to "better times". Like me wanting to avoid Mother's Day, we want to "avoid" the painful times of suffering.

But what about the legacy that is found in suffering? Are we showing the world how to lovingly and faithfully walk with Jesus during the difficult days here on earth, or are we showing them that we have Jesus only to quickly make it through the painful times? Are we showing the power and miraculous God that we have despite circumstances on earth? Or are we limiting our God as we box Him in to ways that we want Him to work?

I want to suggest that the Legacy of Suffering is a beautiful thing called joy. Joy in the midst of pain. Joy in the midst of heartache. Joy, not smiles that are on our faces, but true joy found deep in the heart of Hope in a God who promises to never leave us. Sweet friends, as we cry out in our pain, let us take the risk to walk the road of suffering joyfully confident in the one who carries us each day. Be brave friends with your suffering. Our hope is never in vain when it is in Jesus, but creates a beautiful legacy out of suffering that spreads to those around you and offers redemption to the pain that we all experience here on earth. Our everlasting God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow is our everlasting hope, which brings joy. There is purpose in it. There is a legacy that will be formed. 

"And Hope does not Disappoint us..."
-Romans 5:5-

(This post has remained one of my highest read posts since it first was published in 2015. Today, I wanted to re-post and share it as an encouragement to those walking through the difficult path of suffering.)

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Aww you are sweet with your encouragement friend. Truly the Lord is merciful and provides grace in the darkest and most difficult of days!
      Sending Love,
      Rebecca :)

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  2. First of all.... can I just say that I think you are so strong and amazing?! Definitely look up to you so much!
    Second... what a strong, beautiful post and the perfect reminder of turning to God when we need Him most (even if we are too stubborn to admit it) and try our hardest to find joy in every situation!

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    1. Aww thank you so much for your kind words Courtney! Truly they are a blessing to me!! It is difficult to find joy in the dark days, I know I struggle with this! I am so thankful that the Lord is so gracious to us and provides mercy for each new day!

      I am so honored that you stopped by and would love to connect more with you!
      Thank you again,
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  3. This is so beautiful. Thank you for the reminder that God uses not only the highs but also the lows for His glory. #PeonyProjectLove

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Maegan!! :) I so appreciate your sweet comment and encouragement! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)
      p.s. - I wish that I could have replied directly to your email but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope in the future to connect with you more! :)

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  4. I love this. The weight in the single question "Are we showing the power and miraculous God that we have despite circumstances on earth?" is so powerful. Life is hard. It isn't fair. But even still - God is good.

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    1. Aww thank you so much Jamie for stopping by and for being so encouraging!! The weight of that question definitely has hit me hard in these last several years, but especially in these past 4 weeks! Truly God is still good no matter what our circumstances may be, even the dark and ugly times. I hope that you have a wonderful Monday and a wonderful week! Thank you so much for stopping by!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  5. I am so blessed to find your blog. To not feel alone.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh my goodness Regine, what incredibly kind and encouraging words! I am so glad that we can find community in this blogging sphere and gently encourage each other through the difficult times of life. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I hope to connect more with you in the future- thank you again for your encouraging words!

      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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