On Friday, George talked about Saul's conversion. He referred to Acts 9:16 where Jesus says to Anannias referring to Saul, "I will show him how much he will suffer for my name.". The question was given, "Why is suffering a part of the Christian walk?". I thought... Good question because I don't want to suffer. George said God asks us to suffer to show him how much we love him: "Love is measured by how much it is willing to give up."
Turns out, I don't have a whole lot of love for God. I seek earthly comforts every day. From a warm blanket when I'm chilled, a cookie when I wake up, a nap when I'm tired, a movie when I'm bored, a phone call to a friend when I'm lonely, etc, etc.
I'm reading "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas A Kempis and his words about suffering shot arrows...
"If thou dest set thyself to that which thou ought to do, namely, to suffering and to death, it will quickly be better with thee, and thou shall find peace"
"This is not the power of man, but it is the grace of Christ, which can and doth so much in weak flesh; so that what naturally it always hates and flees from, that by fervor of spirit, it encounters and loves."
"Christ's whole life was a cross and martyrdom; and dost thou seek rest and joy for thyself? Thou art deceived, thou art deceived, if thou seek any other thing than to suffer tribulations; for this whole mortal life is full of miseries, and signed on every side with crosses."
I have not yet come to terms with the idea of suffering. I don't want to suffer. So what do I do when I come to the place where I realize how little I love God and how unwilling I am to make changes (deny myself creature comforts, submit myself to suffering) in order to love him more? Am I the lukewarm people he speaks of in Revelation? I'm leaning toward yes. May God have mercy on my soul.