“I want to know Christ & the power of his resurrection & the fellowship of sharing his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, & so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10,11)
Throughout my life, I have struggled with this verse. I want very much to share in Christ’s resurrection. Sharing in his sufferings, however, is less appealing.
Until my chronic health conditions began, I truthfully wanted no part of Christ’s sufferings – at least no major suffering. I thought I could endure the small inconveniences of life & even the more difficult situations related to child-rearing & financial crises. But when suffering involved physical pain, I preferred to bypass that altogether.
Now that I live with daily pain & frequent sickness, this passage has taken on an entirely new meaning. Although my pain cannot compare to what Christ endured on the cross, it enables me to identify in a small way with what He experienced. In my times of greatest pain, Christ has been the nearest. I have felt His peace & presence during my most agonizing moments, assuring me I would survive & did not need to panic. Other times I have felt tremendous power flowing from the prayers of those around me, carrying me through times of trial.
The wonderful aspect of this verse is that resurrection does come. After the agony of Gethsemane & Calvary, Christ rose in glory & is resplendent in heaven even now. Our pains & sufferings will one day explode into pain-free resurrection. We will be perfect & healthy.
Until then, my trials are a constant reminder of the One who loves me most. I want to be thankful that I have someone who has gone before me on this journey of suffering. He underst&s my pain as no one else can. He is with me through it now, & will one day raise me to my resurrection wholeness. Hallelujah!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, let me feel the joy of your glorious resurrection in this earthly life. Draw me ever deeper into knowing you, in sickness & in health. Amen.
About the Author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in Fredericksburg, VA & is blessed to have the support & encouragement of a wonderful husb& & three grown daughters. God’s grace & strength give her the ability to deal with chronic back pain, depression, headaches, & fibromyalgia. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org & view her blog of devotionals at www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.