Turning My Page: Reframing Suffering
The portrait slumped in the back corner of the attic.
Her head folded in resignation of neglect—abandoned.
“A beginner’s musings,” I guessed, ready to dismiss my discovery.
But something drew me to the forgotten girl. Her eyes
haunted me, pleaded for hope beneath the cobwebs of neglect.
“I reframed my heartache after considering eternity.
Didn’t stop feeling when the world tortured me and laughed, What’s the point, no one cares?
“I reframed my longings, surrendered them to eternity.
Didn’t stop reaching for my creator when the skeptic told me, There’s no such thing.
“I reframed my thoughts to illuminate eternity.
Didn’t stop holding each other up when despair screamed, No way out!”
The girl reached out, tugged my heart
closer for respect, kindness—for some granule of
understanding her pain. Her hair fell like flames
around her face. Untamable
beauty. Maybe with a little work …
I traded out her beaten frame for a new one,
brought the broken child out into the light. Displayed her as a priceless treasure.
Strange how the new light brushed her cheek and
shared a different story.
Her soul danced with hopes and dreams, passions, and compassion.
Did a hint of a smile appear on her lips?
And in that hope, our joy emerged as a masterpiece of possibility.
Turning Your Page: Reframing Pain
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
The world can be brutal to our mind, body, and spirit. Jesus stepped into humanity to teach us a new way of looking at our circumstances and responding with joy, rather than despair. Jesus reveals we can withstand so much more than we think. Often we view ourselves through shortsighted glasses and it takes an outside perspective to jolt us to an eternal reality.
- That jolt can come in the form of scripture, wise counsel from a friend, or the Holy Spirit trying to challenge your thinking? How are you responding to their love?
- Spend some time walking around your life as if you are looking at them as a stranger. Describe the challenges. Have others shared a similar experience? How did they get through suffering? Who did they turn to for help?
- What is one aspect of your circumstances you can work on allowing hope to illuminate possible outcomes? Spend time this week asking God to open your eyes to see the possibility for good things emerging out of difficulty.
Jesus, my heart is heavy with circumstances I have no control over. You set the joy of being with your Father in front of you! Help me to endure my cross and have joy because my eyes remain fixed on you. Amen