For the last several years, I’ve tried to be the light in a certain situation (outside my home—thankfully I have a wonderful godly spouse) and have suffered much for it. I finally decided enough was enough. It was time to leave.
I was relishing the idea of packing my proverbial bags when over the course of four days, three people I respect, individually and without the knowledge of the others, suggested I stay. One even told me rather boldly to pick up my cross.
That’s not what I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to hear about patience in suffering either, but thanks to an editing project, God made sure I did.
Many of us are in a ministry we never wanted. Ask the mother of the severely disabled child if this was her choice or the spouse of the addict or the parent of a wayward child. Ask the employee of a workaholic boss if this is where he or she hoped to be. Sometimes God calls us to shine in really difficult places. What then?
The apostle Peter advised: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12,13).
This was the thought that changed everything for me. I am being asked to suffer with and for Christ. He suffered for me. Because so much is at stake, I will continue to suffer for him.
Amber Albee Swenson is a writer, speaker, and blogger. Her husband and four children keep life exciting and give her lots to write and pray about. Mother, wife, and author are treasured positions, but child of God is her identity.
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