But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation.
1 Peter 5:10
Our previous volume in the Gospel Project for Kids was called “People Restored”. It covered the last books of the Old Testament with several minor prophets, and the rebuilding of the temple after the Israelites came back from their exile in Babylon. Kids learned about this verse from 1 Peter 5:10 for several weeks.
It is hard to explain to kids that a loving God would have them suffer. “Would God make us suffer a lot?” “So, how long is suffering for a little while?” they may ask. And we adults have the same questions, don’t we?
When my kids were young and we would go to the doctor, she would tell them that they would feel a brief prick and a little pain when she gave them a shot to keep them healthy. Brief was a key word to convince them and make it more tolerable. The prevention of diseases was something their young minds couldn’t grasp.
The Word of God tells us that we will suffer for a little while. We don’t know how long, because God’s time is different than ours. But we are also told that it will perfect us. It will give us a firm and strong foundation.
I have seen my own spiritual growth in the last days. I have seen more people showing their humanity, their kindness, their compassion. It’s a wonderful sign. I’m getting stronger in my faith foundation. In our family, we talk and look more for the helpers –like Mr. Rogers did, as an antidote of the negativity we are bombarded through the media. We feel the urge to be on the “helpers” team.
Our God is faithful. Our God is a loving God. He knows the worse suffering we may undergo is to live apart from Him, in this life and for the eternity. He was willing to suffer and to put His own life down to bring us close to Him.
Lord, you are the King. You are here among us in your kingdom –for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. You are present in this mess and chaos on earth, bringing healing, sight, perception, liberation, wholeness, wholesomeness, peace, health, fullness, nourishment, discernment, sanity, and balance. Help us see you, and hear you, in this unusual Lent and Spring. We thank you for your gentle and compassionate love. Amen