A couple people I know are suffering through cancer right now. One of them started chemo the other day and the other had another surgery yesterday to remove another lump. As I thought and prayed for them and their families I found myself saying something all too familiar...something like 'and whatever happens Lord, may it be used to bring You glory.' For the rest of the day I thought and cried over this statement. I wondered what does it really mean when I pray that. We hear that phrase so often as Christians that it is easy to become numb to the words and their meaning and just say it because it is the thing to say at the end of a prayer for those in need.
Did it mean that even though these women must suffer and their families too, that if someone gets saved through it then it was worth it? Does it mean if a prodical comes back to the Lord because of it that it was worth it? Is that what it means to see God glorified in suffering? In a matter of time I actually found myself saying to the Lord that if it meant that people would be saved into Eternity than please afflict me. If those I know and love would give their lives to You completely, then please afflict me." Sadly, as soon as I said it, the self preservation in me came out. "Oh no, what did I just say, I didn't really mean it Lord, I don't want to suffer affliction. Following that, I mourned. I mourned the fact that after all these years of being a Christian, of serving the Lord, teaching others to trust and obey, to surrender all, I still count my life dear to myself.
I went and put on some music and then became engrossed in the words to this song:(I don't know why it's not coming out full screen but I think if you click on it, it will take you to the song on You Tube and you can see the words no problem)
What greater love is there? Truly there is none. As I looked on You Tube for all the words of the song I realized all the more this great love of God for all of us. He was willing to suffer, to be beaten, to be bruised, to live among mankind though He was a King, to leave His rightful throne and all because of us. In everything that He did, God was glorified. In suffering, in pain, in humiliation, scorn-all that He endured, His Father was glorified. He didn't count His life dear to Himself. He gave Himself a ransom for all.
And by the end of the day, it would be nice to say that I came to the point of complete willingness to be afflicted in whatever way God would be glorified through it-and yet it would be a lie if I said that happened. The closest I came was to say, "Lord, please make me willing to be willing" Willing to be, to do, to endure anything and everything that would glorify You."