FROM Rev. Brock Patterson
"The Mountain of Suffering"
Suffering stinks. I don't think I've heard anyone say otherwise. Pastors, psychologists, and parents sometimes say that suffering can be good, but we aren't fooling anyone. Nobody likes to hurt. Churches and schools aren't immune to suffering, either. Economies and entire countries can suffer. Even now, the worldwide population continues to suffer due to the COVID pandemic. Yeah, suffering stinks.
Recently, I've had several conversations with different people in which the topic of suffering has surfaced. It shouldn't surprise me that this week's Scripture passage is also about suffering. Is God urging me to discuss suffering? Or, is God asking me to address my own places of suffering, which I often avoid?
In my case, I think I know the answer. I've been doing this (serving as Pastor) for much too long to not be aware of the times when God is urging me forward. I resist because I don't like the subject area, but my experience has taught me that when I'm faithful in response, God unloads blessings that are currently impossible for me to see. It's time to tackle the mountain.
So, this week, if God is also urging you towards a difficult place, don't avoid it. Instead, consider embracing it. The questions, uncertainty, and pain are waiting. However, God is also there. God is ready to do something special that we can't see beyond the mountain of suffering.
Jesus provides some helpful advice: "For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20, NRSV).