Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Suffering and Guilt

I am part of an online support group and we often have some deep discussions.  One friend was sharing her frustration with some homeschool mommy guilt and struggling to understand the suffering her family was dealing with over the last year.  I responded back and then thought it might be nice to share with all of you.  So here was my mini "sermon" for her.  Hope it blesses you somehow today :0)

--Leslie, this may be sporadic here, I need to go grab the baby who slept blessedly late today! I wanted to share a couple quick thoughts. I was VERY ill for 3 months last year and at times unable to care for my children in any way. I too questioned what we were suppose to be learning and prayed we'd learn it fast so we could move out of the chaos. It wasn't fast. We are still tying up loose ends to my physical issues. It was really hard. BUT we learned a LOT. When you said you're trying to see the purpose, trying to understand... here's what we learned. 

As someone is sick and others serve them, your children learn the meaning of being the hands and feet of Christ in a way they normally never would. 

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come SO THAT your faith, OF GREATER WORTH THAN GOLD (and greater worth than math and history I might add), which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise , glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong and firm and steadfast. 

2 Corinthians 1:4-5  He comforts us in all our troubles SO THAT we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 

Galatians 6:4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. 

Hosea 6:6 I want you to show love not offer sacrifices, I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. 

I was listening to Diana Waring last night and she shared that we homeschool and do the things we do, not because we are so clever and smart but because God revealed this way to us. He showed us. This way of leading and teaching our children may often look foolish to man but to a person who knows the Creator mans "wisdom" is nothing.  Most Christian homeschoolers do what they do because of a calling they received from God.  That was true for us, even though we didn't fully understand why, we knew He was clearly calling us to this journey. It's hard to remember that sometimes.
One last thing and I'll end my sermon. When I was sick my mom got me a wonderful DVD by Louie Giglio. It was about suffering and something he shared was so true and really helped me through the time of testing that was at hand. He said that when we suffer it is like God has handed us a megaphone to speak to the world. When you suffer, your actions and words speak very loud. For example I could preach to you forgiveness and what you should do blah blah, BUT, if I shared about forgiveness and then told you (this is a story not real so don't freak) if I told you my 4yo daughter was killed in front of me in my own front yard by a drunk driver and not only did I forgive him, I love him and want to help him and I walk the young man out on stage and we cry together... that is a megaphone!  Suffering sucks. There is not a pretty word to put on it. I didn't like my suffering. I never want to do it EVER again, but as always, God's words are true. My compassion for others is much bigger, I was shown God in ways I never knew. Mainly he taught me to take His Word seriously- all His words but in particular these... 

-LOVE the Lord your God with ALL your heart and soul and strength and LOVE your neighbor as yourself 
-I want you to show LOVE not offer sacrifices 

I did and still do sometimes slip back into doing things "for God" and knocking myself out and every once in awhile He whispers, "Hey you, remember... I want your LOVE! I want you to show LOVE. What your stressing over now is not important to me! How are you showing MY LOVE??" 

And guess what, love is so simple! It's also quite fun! If your kids learn to love God most and then love others, it doesn't matter what they do they will be successful. 

K, I'm done with my sermon now...  

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