In my last blog I posed a question: Do we really want to be perfected?
But if you look closely you'll note that I artfully avoided answering it myself. I find it more comfortable to stand on the brink, pondering that question, than actually answering it.
Perfection requires pain. My chapter for the week has been Hebrews 2. And although I tried to move on without answering the question, the theme arose again: "In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering."(verse 10).
If Christ being perfect in nature needed the experience of suffering to complete his perfection, what would it take for me? It is a frightening thought.
I have been working on a book lately that requires me to connect with people who have truly suffered. And as I weave the words to portray that pain I become somehow intimately involved in the grief, despondency, and misery they have endured. I am witness to the ways in which they have been perfected by their pain. And as a result, they become my heroes.
I see how it works. I like the end product. But still, I remain silent before the question: Do I want to be perfected?
It may seem terribly unspiritual and horribly inappropriate for a missionary to admit. But maybe the reason I hesitate to answer, perhaps why I prefer to leave the question rhetorical .... is because my answer, I am ashamed to say is "no."
Everyday I see suffering. Orphaned teen girls for whom abortion is way of life as they desperately seek someone to love them. Kids who have tragically lost parents and siblings, or worse yet, have been abandoned by them, pursue self destructive behavior in a desperate attempt to alleviate the pain. And much, much more.
I don't want to have to hurt. I don't want to suffer. But perhaps the biggest issue is that I do not value the end product (perfection) the way I should. If I did I could look past the temporal pain and simply say, "Yes, Lord. Whatever it takes, perfect me."
But I am not there.
So I answer the question from the place where I am. I'll neither say "yes"with naive enthusiasm, nor "no" with shame.
Instead, I will simply say, "Nevertheless, not my will, dear God, but Yours."
I wish I could boldly pursue perfection. But I am not there. So I will leave it in His hands and submit to what He leads me through -- when he leads me through it.