Friday, February 2, 2024

Soften Me Under This Suffering

 By: Lauren Thomas 

Someone once told me that there are two kinds of people: eggs and potatoes. Now, before you laugh, stick with me here. The same process can be used to cook both eggs and potatoes. However, the process which softens a potato, also hardens an egg. That process is boiling. Boiling is a metaphor for suffering. Two different people might experience similar suffering, but one becomes softened under suffering, the other becomes hard. In response to suffering one person becomes compassionate and filled with grace; the other becomes cynical and bitter. Even among people who profess faith in Jesus, there are eggs and potatoes. 


No one likes to suffer. If we take an honest look at Scripture, it tells us that we will face suffering. Paul even put it this way: it has been “granted” to us to suffer with Christ!


For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake

Philippians 1:29 (ESV)


When I read that, I feel a sickening sense of dread. I don’t want to suffer. I want my life to be comfortable. However, I know I will face suffering because I live in a broken, sinful world. How will I respond to the suffering that I am guaranteed to face?


I think of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who’s heart was hardened against the suffering of the Israelites. We read that Pharaoh hardened his heart and that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. (See Exodus 7:3-4; 8:15, 32; 9:12; 10:20, 27.)


But I will harden Pharaoh's heart… 

Exodus 7:3a (ESV)


But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.

Exodus 8:32 (ESV)


If God can harden a heart, he can soften one too. 


When I am experiencing suffering, I pray this simple prayer: “Jesus, soften me under this suffering.” 


I go on to pray, “Soften me in this suffering. May I not revolt against what You are doing in my life. In this suffering, may I be sensitive to Your presence, for I know You are with me in my suffering. Make me compassionate to the suffering of those around me. Lower my defenses. Remove my sense of entitlement to a life of comfort. Shape me into the image of Your son (Romans 8:29). And may this suffering produce in me perseverance, character, and ultimately, hope (Romans 5:3-5). Amen”



What is your gut reaction when you read about our promised suffering? (See John 16:33)

How has God used suffering in your life? Is God currently shaping you through suffering?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.