This month our church is on a journey of spiritual formation, and the experience is reminding me that spiritual depth doesn't develop because of left brain activity alone. At some point we have to meet God face to face. Since that encounter is often relational and experiential before it is cognitive, it can be difficult to explain. So this week we're exploring the process through pictures.
Today's thought: We encounter God through suffering.
I'm not really sure how to explain it, but suffering has the potential to become a profound spiritual experience. Unfortunately, we don't really have a theology of suffering in the American church. Instead, we often assume that Christianity proves itself through prosperity.
I love it when God demonstrates his blessing materially and situationally. But full bank accounts and smooth waters don't prove faith. Trials on the other hand...
For example, take this quote from my favorite New Testament author: "I want to know Christ."
Yep, me too.
But have you read the rest of the verse? The encounter sounds a bit painful; even a little bloody.
Yesterday I spent some time with a good friend who's really hurting. I listened as she spilled her guts, earnestly searching my internal "pastor file" for the right words to ease her pain. I'm sure you'll be surprised to hear that I didn't come up with anything profound:) Just one question.
What if this encounter with depression could turn into an encounter with God?