David Inshaw. She Did Not Turn.
Over the infinity of space and time, the infinite Love of God comes to possess us. We can consent to receive or refuse. Surprisingly, this Love offering comes in the form of suffering—in the image of the nail. The high cost of consent intuits our refusal. Finite vision sees no purpose in pain.
Suffering has so much to teach us. It is not a punishment but the divine route to complete rest in God. It is a call to faith, a test of character, a means of loving guidance, an encouragement to prayer. If we can see our sense of suffering as sharing, in a small way, in Christ’s passion—His willingness to surrender in trust to that which He was called to live—we too will be graced with the strength to embrace it and learn from it. We must embrace the travail of our own inner transformation before we can see others with the eyes of Christ’s own patient compassion. By embracing and accepting our pain, we begin to break through the protective walls we have constructed around our hearts for so long, becoming more vulnerable, honest, and grateful. This moves us to a deeper understanding of our shared brokenness, opening us to a compassionate dimension within our hearts. Slowly, we begin to change in two powerful ways: we become more and more self-compassionate while becoming more accepting and compassionate toward others, and we wake up and focus on all of the good surrounding us, becoming more grateful and accepting of our lives. We awaken to the truth of our lives and begin to see reality as it is rather than the way we think it should be or wish that it were. Once we choose to see this with the eyes of trust, we are no longer living in illusion, and God can graciously begin to heal us.
Painful relationships and circumstances that seem so defeating and discouraging are most often sacred gifts holding the seeds of our healing if we will embrace them, persevere through them, and allow them to change us and wake us up to a whole new way of seeing. So often when we are suffering, we run from one thing to the next, frantically looking for a quick fix that will ease our searing pain and restore things to the way they used to be. However, God is not seeking restoration but transformation. The more we submit to and participate in the mystery of this purifying work, the more we begin to experience a sense that everything, even our darkest pain, is held in Divine Love.
Excerpted from The Hidden Life Awakened pp 22-23,25
Beloved, embrace me in the dark night of my praying, in the deep silence of my offering, in the confrontation of my dying. Beloved, enable me by faith to know You without seeing You, by hope to possess You without feeling Your presence, by love to desire You above all desires. Beloved, grant that I might put all faith in love for You, all hope in love for You, to know that all desires fail but one: my desire to be loved by You. BWS
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