My response from God regarding the recent shootings is, “Let it rack you!” You might say, “What do you mean, let it rack you?!” What I believe He intends me to do is to enter into the fellowship of His suffering.
The shootings didn’t slip through Christ’s sovereign Hand. And He didn’t look at the Father and say, “Oh Father, they’re off the rails on a crazy train!” Jesus wasn’t surprised nor did He respond nonchalantly to the events. Sin racks His heart. And as His child, I am given the opportunity and privilege to enter into His pain and suffering with Him. Everything is an opportunity for fellowship with Christ—even this.
Fellowship of His Suffering: A Time to Mourn
Naturally I can desire to hold up my banner and spout forth my opinions and thoughts. But the boil-over of the world’s violent fallenness is actually frightening to me. I could just as easily go hide under the nearest rock or lock myself in the house and cry. The sheer force of these birth pangs is immense. Things are happening now weekly, if not daily, rather than every few years. The world is coming unglued. And as I wrote in my last post, it is my responsibility to ‘remain King-ed’ in such times. But today the Lord impressed on me to let it rack me.
I want to know Him inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death, so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11 VOICE
This doesn’t mean I will not pray. This doesn’t preclude my discussion. But it gives me something more than retaliatory rage. These events wounded His heart and now He is asking me to join Him in His wounding.
Do I believe that my soapbox has more influence than my fellowship with Him? Do I believe that my intercessory instructing of God concerning the situation and the solution has more power than my fellowship in His suffering? Today He is asking me to enter in, to be racked by, the force of a world being ripped apart at the seams to birth Christ.
A World Heaving: Fellowship of His Suffering
The world is heaving. Massacres, terrorism, lawlessness, murder, hatred and rebellion are increasing and will continue to do so. As the time grows closer, the pangs will get more intense, occur more frequently, and become more painful. And Christ is asking me to let it hurt – not turn away, but let it burn. He wants me to join Him in the feeling of it, to fellowship with Him in His sorrow and His suffering as the world torques and writhes.
This is my ministry to Him today. Not a hysterical scream of, “FIX IT, FIX IT, FIX IT!” Or “Aw, Jesus, it’ll be okay!” No, it is to weep with Him who weeps, and mourn with Him who mourns (Romans 12:15). Entering into the fellowship of His suffering is not bracing for impact, but sitting with Him. Often the grieving needs a loving presence not a solution or answer. Christ is the Answer, and what He needs is my presence—a fellowship of His suffering.
While He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”
Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains.
Matthew 24:3-8 HCSB