By time surely goes by! It was on Sept. 24 that I wrote the #8 post on suffering. I didn’t intend to let so much time pass before coming back to that subject.
The next topic I wanted to discuss was the issue of God allowing suffering as a means to build character. At this time I wonder if the “recess” time has been a “hands on” test for me.
Three weeks ago today I had a tooth extracted. It has turned into a time of frustration, pain, and uncertainty. Through this time, I have tried to apply some of the things I believe about why God allows suffering as it relates to Christian living. Can one really product fruits of the Spirit without some suffering? I don’t know. But I know this month has been a test for me – a test in which I hope I have grown in Christian character.
There have been mistakes made. That’s why doctor’s carry insurance. What am I going to do about that? Am I tempted to sue? The thought crossed my mind. But no, that is not right for me.
In my distress I tend to be cranky. As I lay on that ER bed, I thought to myself, “OK, Self, this is a time to show some kindness to those who hurt while helping.” Most were caring and it was easy to deal with them, but one was beyond reason. She bordered on cruel. I submitted but I don’t think I’m beyond holding a grudge. I hope she gets a better hold on life, but I don’t want anymore contact with her! Is that what God wants from me? I just now realize I did not pray for her. While I was gritting my teeth (not really, her hand was in my mouth) would have been a good time for a silent prayer for my “enemy.”
I am frustrated by having conflicting advice from different doctors. I have made a choice, but I’m not at peace. I need peace about my choice or I need the Lord to redirect my plans.
There are other examples I could discuss; however, I think this is enough to illustrate my thesis that God does allow suffering to build Christian character.
Join me soon for one more post, the last one in this series.