BB+ Suffering_thumbBy Jeff Newman

All of God’s dear children experience suffering, whether ordinary difficulties or extreme hardship. And when suffering comes, our hearts long for our final destination: the presence of God. If only we could skip the journey and arrive instantly at that glorious destination. Psalm 63 invites us to recognize the value of the journey along with the greatness of the destination.

Several summers ago my family took an extended vacation—an opportunity to get away and truly disengage. Sherry and I quietly planned a two-week trip packed with family, fun, and learning. Eventually we let our children, then ages 11 and 9, in on the surprise. As the children’s celebrating died down, reality began to take hold. All of our destinations looked great, but to reach them we would be in the car for a very long time. Both children wanted the fun of the trip without the effort of the journey. In truth, I understood and agreed with them.

I see a connection between the desires of my children and our desires as Christians traveling on the path to Glory. We often dislike the road that leads us to God’s glorious presence. Sometimes the road into the wilderness seems mildly bearable; at other times it becomes increasingly arid, bitter, and even unbearable.

In Psalm 63 we find David fleeing from his son Absalom into the wilderness of Judah. David’s dependency on God in the wilderness provides us with a model to follow. He committed himself to three essential pursuits. You and I can commit ourselves to these same pursuits.