The Wages I waited for
Growing up, I had this mentality that God owes me! He owes me for the suffering He allowed my family to go through and for the hard work my mum put in to get us to where we are. I thought God should pay us for we pledged allegiance to Him, the storms we faced notwithstanding.
Today I know better. I know with utmost certainty that in spite of everything, God never left our side. This school of thought has built up a strong conviction in my heart to be grateful to God in all situations. Now, it is definitely easier said than done, but it is the way to go.
Part of my conviction has also been formed by Scripture and friends that God has brought into my life. Through their testimonies, my perspective has continually deepened.
In this world, you will be petrified by evil and lack even a branch to cling onto. You will face persecution and agonize in suffering ‒yes at times you will feel as if the air around you is thinning and you almost fail to breathe.
People will fight against what you stand for and some will bargain for your neck, literally. You will lose loved ones to terminal illnesses and accidents, if not to murder; and your faith will be tested to the point of death. We are in a fallen world. Our only relief is the hope that we have in Christ; eternity with God.
God will come through for us when we call upon Him during suffering, but even if He does not in the manner we expect Him to, let us be resilient, and let us endure.
His Perfect Plan
God is Sovereign and we may never fully comprehend His works, but He expects us to trust in Him. He wants us to let go of our fears and focus solely on His power and Grace. I cannot help but constantly marvel at Joseph’s story as portrayed in Genesis from chapter 37 all the way to chapter 50.
He definitely did not have a normal life from the age of seventeen. His life, graced with hatred from his jealous brothers to false accusations by Potiphar’s wife, was characterized by excruciating pain. Yet he chose not to dwell on it but on God’s Sovereignty through it all.
One profound statement he made was when he met his brothers once again when they had gone to Egypt to buy food during the famine. And instead of taking it out on them for all they did to him, he wept for he could not hold it together and said
“Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…So then it was not you who sent me here but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.” (Gen 45:5, 8).
Wait a minute; did Joseph know that God was in it from the very beginning? Well, the better question would be, “How do we hold on to God and His promises during suffering?”
Lessons out of Suffering
Have you ever reminisced over certain events in your life and at that moment feel this heavyweight being lifted off your chest because you wonder where you might be had things not taken the direction they did? And at that moment you get convinced deep down that God had something to do with it, for your own good?
Truth is, this conviction does not happen during the trial period, oh no, during that time what you feel is grief, unimaginable pain, abandonment, and total darkness. During this time all you want to do is give up. While it is natural to feel this way, it shows maturity to exercise trust in God, while we are at it.
Let us always keep in mind that God, out of His Sovereignty allows suffering to come our way and that He is right by our side through it all. While we should pray for Him to remove suffering from us, we should also ask ourselves His purpose of allowing it to come our way.