“Suffering brings us to the end of ourselves...wooing us upward to the One from whom all blessings flow.”

Suffering is not the typical place we think to find adoration. But we can’t appropriately read David’s Psalms of adoration without knowing the valley from which such praise sprang forth. David spent much of his life fleeing. He was hunted, lived in caves, betrayed by friends and family, and felt the crushing weight of his own sin against a holy God. 

We see in Psalm 146 that David praises his God who executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, opens the eyes of the blind, watches over the sojourner, upholds the widow and the fatherless, and sets prisoners free. David declares of his God, “The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145). Suffering brings us to the end of our strength with the goal of grasping our gaze outside of ourselves and wooing us upward to the One from whom all blessings flow. We fall in love with the One who tenderly saves us from destruction and as He reveals His power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory, blessings, and eternal dominion that adoration deepens. The more He rescues you, the more reason you have for adoration. The more He reveals His glory to you, the more reason you have to fall on your face in worship.

Suffering has always been a part of my life. To imagine heaven with no more tears or strife - it amazes me. I have also spent the “prime of my life” in chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and disability. One might say it is a waste of youth having spent so much time homebound. In and of itself, this suffering is not praiseworthy. But in that it offers me a window into the heart of my Savior, it is priceless. Just as Charles H. Spurgeon once said, “The abundance of God’s revelation is usually accompanied by a thorn in the flesh.” By God’s grace, he has given me a crown of thorns, so to speak, that I may know and see my Savior more.

When David was pained, he chose to meditate on his God whom he was certain would deliver him one way or another. And when God did deliver him - either from pursuit or from his own guilt and shame - David was quick to express his adoration of God. When I am in pain (which is every minute of every day), there is always an opportunity to dwell on Christ who delivers me, who saved me from damnation, who continues to cure my blindness, and who sets me free. He Himself has known fully the pain I am feeling now and so much more - longer, deeper, fuller - and he endured it so that I might live and would have a place to go in my time of need. When I am in pain, I can see my Savior. 

Vision Through Blood

Lightning coursing through my every nerve,
beckons Savior’s lashes which I deserve;

Migraines pierce like a crown, many a thorn,
reminiscent of one the Son of God had borne.

Fatigue pressing in, down and across,
as Jesus Christ carrying up the heavy cross;

Pain ever deep leaves me cringing and curled,
akin to spikes hurled into the Light of the World.

This body’s chewing of my soul never quells,
redolent of God born man, Immanuel!

Lucifer’s hammer nails in his undoing,
finishing a stage for magnificent viewing;

Satan’s plan to crush and destroy,
has only worked pure glory and joy.

The Father of Truth uses the father of lies,
in vanquishing the binds of Satan’s ties;

These thorns in my flesh were sent for my good,
leaguing me with the One hung upon wood.

His goodness and greatness can never be quelled,
Alpha and Omega born man, Immanuel!

Jennifer Ko

Jennifer is a member of Cornerstone WLA and serves in the Counseling Ministry.

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