Opening Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus, that you were willing to go through all I go through, and more. Thank you that, because of that, you are wonderfully able to meet me in the midst of whatever suffering, sorrow, and pain I go through in this life. Do that this day. Please.
Scripture: Hebrews 2:10-18
Journal: What is God up to in your life right now? What do you think God made Jesus “perfect through suffering? What does that mean? How is he using hardship, sorrow, or suffering in your life to do the same? How can Jesus relate to what you are going through? How does Jesus want to meet you in your suffering?
Reflection: It’s amazing how much I try to avoid suffering and yet God, in some bizarre and mysterious way, actually chose to “make Jesus perfect” through suffering. That means that suffering must accomplish something, both within us and among us, that can be accomplished in no other way. In fact, if we will embrace suffering—not invite it—and step into it, rather than running away from it or avoiding it at all costs, we might actually be made more like Jesus in the process. Our suffering might actually be a place where we can experience a deep union with Jesus that only our shared suffering can bring about.
Jesus experienced all that we will ever experience, and more. So he is wonderfully able to meet us in the midst of our suffering, and even redeem it and use it to invite us into deeper intimacy with him. Rejection, exclusion, abuse, betrayal, abandonment, loneliness, and isolation, as ugly as they are, can provide fertile soil for Jesus to meet us in an incredibly intimate way, if we are willing to let him do a work deep within us as a result. These things need not have the final word; they need not define or determine us. God is so much bigger than that, he is so much greater than the very worst things this life can throw at us. He can use all things—even sadness, sorrow, and tragedy—to make us more into the people he dreamt us to be, if we will trust in him.
Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, I have no idea why you chose to make Jesus perfect through suffering, I just know that you did. In fact, the idea of being made perfect through suffering is a hard and scary one. Help me, Father, to trust in you no matter what this life may bring. Help it to unite me with Jesus. Help it to create a deep intimacy with him that could be created in no other way. Give me the strength and the grace and the courage to take you up the invitation that suffering has to offer me—to make me more and more like you. Amen.