The fellowship of suffering

My beloved, it is a place of meeting. A place where you and I can come together in complete honesty and truth. Why do you want to rush this time? Am I not closer to you right now than I’ve ever been before? You call to me as though I am distant, far away, as though I need to come to you to take you out of this place. But I am here with you, and it is I who have called you to this place. This is not a place I despise because it is a place I have been to before you, a place of creation and renewal for you.

Can you trust me that I would bring you to this place, not because I am punishing you, or because I have forsaken you, or even because I delight in this place, but because I trust you. I trust you to bear this load and I trust you to seek and find deep truths in this place – to mine the depths of the riches of grace in this dark place. Only when the eyes of your heart are open and seeing, only when the ears of your soul are attentive and hearing will you discover that this is not a place of isolation, or loss, but a place of opportunity, of hidden diamonds in blackest coal, of groans of deep prayer like labour pains before something amazing and beautiful is birthed.

I promised that being with me would lead to life. Will you die to suffering so that you might live to joy, deep everlasting joy? Will you know me – really know me – in my sufferings, in my passion, in my darkest hour, so that you might share in my brightest glory, to behold me as I really am – unveiled, scarred, yet beautiful? To live in my resurrection life requires that you also die in my death. Will you share with me what I can only entrust to those whose hearts are made for this, hearts shaped for the amazing expression of joy through suffering? Will you make up for others in your body what is lacking in my sufferings so that they might know the weight and true value of my costly grace, and not seek out cheap grace as a means to an unfulfilling end?

My beloved, if you knew how much I love you, how much I value you, how much I know you, then you would know you are totally secure and in a place of complete safety. Will you remain here with me a while longer, until my work here is complete?
Will you release to me your most hidden parts, your deepest longings, your greatest dreams – will you offer to me your life plan so I can replace it with the best plan that your life could ever be?

Is it enough for you to know that I am here? Let it be enough and discover that my grace is more than sufficient.