Adorable chubby thighs.

Three sweet kids learning how to play together.

A crazy uncle causing many belly laughs.

Constant reminders of “Do not smother your sister!”

Doing the sit . . . lean . . . plop.

An outtake family photo.  Now a treasure.

Oh the bliss of innocent joy that would soon turn to sorrow.

This week in Nancy Guthrie’sOne Year Book of Hope“, I pondered this as I read:

To run from suffering is to refuse to see God’s hand at work in the midst of it.  To run from suffering is to reject the lessons God has for you in it . . . 

While Jesus tells us not to run from suffering, he suggests we do more than simply endure it.  He admonishes us to embrace it . . . To embrace suffering is to enjoy God’s presence in your life even when you are filled with questions for him.   

To embrace suffering is to enter into a deeper relationship with God that you could not have enjoyed without experiencing penetrating pain.  The suffering not only makes you crave such a relationship, it gives you the capacity to savor it.  Ultimately, to embrace suffering is to allow your now broken heart to be more easily rebroken by the things that break the heart of God.  (p. 210)

If you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for He will never fail you.  1 Peter 4:19