The Awful Grace of God

    08.02.19 | by Eric Segool

    Suffering can take many forms…

    • A husband mourns the loss of his wife. 
       
    • A young woman deals with chronic pain due to an auto-immune disease. 
       
    • A teenager struggles with depression and anxiety that cripples them from living the life they so desire. 

    The Greek Poet Aeschylus once wrote: 
     “He who learns must suffer…even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart…and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”

     Suffering can take many forms, and none of us is immune from its effects, but how do we react when suffering comes our way? Do we become embittered and angry or do we seek out the Lord?  
     
    Several years back I was going through a time of personal struggle. I remember confiding in a friend that I was “intensely unhappy” in various areas of my life. I said that I asked the Lord to remove this powerful emotion that seemed to hang on me like a wet coat. 
     
    My friend listened compassionately, but his response surprised and inspired me…Instead of praying for God to remove these feelings, he said, why not ask God to dwell powerfully with me during this trial and pray for courage to persevere. 
     
    Something resonated in my mind and my soul. My prayers changed. I prayed for God’s Spirit to comfort me when these emotions charged into me. I also prayed for Courage — Courage to remember who God is and that He has a tremendous plan for me. 
     
    Having come through this challenging time, I can say two things for sure: 

    • I am grateful it is over. (Hopefully, not to be repeated!)   
       
    • I would not change anything; the result is that I have a deeper, richer relationship with my Lord and Savior!

    Let’s close with these words, written by David;

     “Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

    Psalm 51: 10 – 12