That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death (Ph. 3: 10, KJV).
This morning I reflected on the lives of those who are so closely aligned with Christ, that they will refuse the things of this world which provide comfort. It is interesting that they choose suffering rather than seeking relief from the suffering.
It is not that people are masochistic or have some psychological defect nor is it wrong to want an alleviation of suffering but for some their identity is most quickly found in how much their life resembles the choice of Jesus to choose suffering and poverty.
I understand that desire. It is a daily, often moment-by-moment dying to self to experience our utter dependence on God in the midst of suffering. The truth be told, I am not always there. I suspect many of us are not there either if ever at all.
It is the place of truly living but suffering so that Christ might be seen formed in us. Not because we want our suffering to be seen and therefore have its own reward in being acknowledged. But that our suffering might produce the deeper questions of: “How do you do this?” Thus, lending itself to the moment of sharing Christ with another in the midst of the observation and the interrogatory. It is my prayer that the Father move us to live the example of Christ such that in suffering we might more fully reflect the face of Jesus.