SHARING IN THE SUFFERINGS

Last year our two dogs got into a dog fight. One was a newly adopted rescue and showed signs of anxiety. One afternoon the new rescue attacked our puppy. It escalated quickly and the anxious dog was clearly out of control and in a crazed state. It scared me so bad, I thought she might kill our puppy.

I reacted in trying to break up the fight and protect—I stuck out my arm in the middle to remove the one dog that was out of control, consequently, she bit me very deeply in my arm close to my wrist.

I have never felt anything like that. It was immense pain. I felt as if my whole arm was on fire. It burned like nothing I’d ever felt.

Thankfully I was ok—no infection and got it stitched up and it healed, but there is a pretty deep scar there that is a reminder.

Fast forward almost a year later and I have been reading a book by Spurgeon called “All of

Grace.”

There was a part in the book that spoke of mediating and contemplating the death of Christ. Just to preface before I came to this passage, my mind was distracted and out of nowhere looked at my scar on my arm and started reliving the dog incident in my mind. I thought why am I all the sudden thinking of this? I continued to read….

“Do not sit down and try to pump up repentance from the dry well of a corrupt nature. It is contrary to the laws of your mind to suppose that you can force your soul into a gracious state. Take your heart in prayer to Him who understands it and says, Lord cleanse it. Lord renew it. Lord, work repentance in it. The more you try to produce penitent emotions in yourself, the more you will be disappointed. However if you believingly think of Jesus dying for you, repentance will burst forth.”

Wow! What timing on thinking of how I stepped in the middle of that fight and I innocently suffered out of love. I loved those dogs, and I wanted the fight to end. That was no mere accident that I just started thinking of that as I was about to read this passage.

Spurgeon went on to say, “Meditate on the Lord’s shedding His heart’s blood out of love for you. Set before you your mind’s eye the agony and blood sweat, the cross and the passion.”

As I looked at my scar and remembered my own grief and suffering and blood shed, I was immediately overcome with emotion thinking of the gravity of the pain and suffering Jesus endured because of His love for me.

Christianity is not just head knowledge and moral duty, it is experience with the real Jesus.

Through my experience with the dog bite, I believe God used that to show me something about himself and experience Him in a real tangible way. Christianity will be more than just a system of thinking and religion when we get in on the real experiences God has for us. He is trying to show us Himself.

Christ is all in all! Look to nothing else but the cross of Jesus. He has stepped in between the fight and sacrificed himself for us! He bled in our place. He suffered in our place. He took on the pain in our place.

“But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of his glory.” 1 Peter 4:13

“But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him,

and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5

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