Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)
God has a goal in mind for me. God’s goal includes suffering. God’s goal includes victory. It isn’t either/or. It is yes/and.
How should I approach suffering? Jesus challenges me to embrace it and make it my own. There is a learning lesson in suffering. I see, in a mirror, my character. How do I react? Is it spiritually mature? What can I do to love more?
Jesus is my model. Jesus is in the lead. Jesus embraced his suffering to fulfill God’s goal. Why should I think I am immune?