What are your sufferings? We all have them.
Even when life is going well, we look around us and there is cancer, disintegration of morality, addictions, false gods and other lies, hurtful words and broken relationships.
The church work family bears these burdens and suffering in a unique way. We have our own sufferings, we bring them to Christ to help us carry the load, and we wonder why life just seems so heavy so much of the time. We forget that often we are bearing the sufferings of those in our care. There are burdens on our heart for someone’s marriage that needs healing, or the member going through treatment; the suffering of the family who has had a miscarriage or the widow living alone. They are wide and varied in our work and in our congregations. And then there is the big one- there is people who do not know Jesus and so little time, who will tell them, how will we tell them? We suffer with the weight of the world on human shoulders frail and weak.
Paul gives us words of encouragement here, as if to say, “Imagine what Christ has in store!” God has a place prepared for us with no more tears, no more sorrow. There is singing and praising all the day around a throne and King worthy of every praise. His glory is so bright and magnificent that the sun is not necessary for light.
God also offers us glimpses of this glory revealed in His Kingdom work here on Earth. We see healing in sickness and hope in sorrow. We get to be messengers of His peace and joy and all the bounty that He offers us in Christ Jesus. We see children grow and faith blossom. We share Jesus over coffee and pray with people as good as strangers, who suddenly become family.
His work is hard and a struggle, a wrestling match between God and world, but His glory- Wow. His glory being revealed and to be revealed- oh, how worth it.