“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms,” I Peter 4:10
© 2016 Lynn Abbott
Maybe, like me, when you face heartbreak or suffering you ask yourself, “Why me?” or even, “What am I supposed to learn?”
Our questions are human. Understandable even.
But sometimes, there seem to be no obvious answers to our questions.
And I wonder… Maybe, I’m just not asking the right questions.
Perhaps, suffering isn’t always about you or me.
Sure, God does use suffering to carve my character. And frequently, I come to know Christ better as I cry, “Master, master, we’re going to drown!” (Luke 8:24).
But suffering frequently reaches beyond me.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God,” (2 Corinthians 1:2-5).
If anyone understood what it meant to suffer and yet, still shine Abba’s grace in the midst of the storm, it was the apostle Paul. In Acts 27-28, Paul sailed as a prisoner to face trial in Rome. The ship sailed straight into an enormous storm.
The Centurion, his soldiers and the other prisoners rightly feared for their lives. Yet, God, through Paul, ultimately guided all to safety. Paul boldly prayed. He spoke directly to them about God.
Even though he found himself on a sinking ship, it was not because he had done anything wrong or had a lesson to learn. Rather, Abba sent Paul into the eye of the storm so that Paul could shine for Christ.
For this reason, when I face deep waters, I now wish to ask, “How can I shine Abba’s grace and glory in this place? How can I bring His light to those around me?”
Indeed, Abba calls you and me to demonstrate His love and grace wherever we go.
In the midst of tsunamis, in the debris of the shipwreck, God calls us to glimmer His grace.
With the gentleness and reverence of our Savior, we are to comfort and walk beside others (I Peter 3:15).
And although storms still come as we sail with God, by His grace, we ‘shine like stars in the universe’ as we hold out the word of life, (Philippians 2:15).