As I was having my quiet time this morning, and as we approach good Friday on this Maundy Thursday, I was reading a Spurgeon devotion the focus of which was the suffering of Jesus as spoken of by the writer of Hebrews in 5:8.
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.”
Bam! The Holy Spirit gave me the following words that pierced my spirit because, for me, they are both convicting and true. Perhaps they are not true for you, but I was led to share them anyway.
“There is a huge difference between suffering and whining.”
Interestingly enough, both have to do with me (and you). Jesus suffered horribly in unthinkable ways for me – my sins (and yours). But I assure you, my whining is all about me—my prayers that have gone unanswered, answers I did not like or agree with, even what someone else received that I had the pride and audacity to think should have come to me, not to mention other things that, if written, would embarrass me further.
In full disclosure, I had to remove my glasses and deal with the tears that would not stop flowing—that followed by a time of confession. Whining is all about me. Suffering is all about Jesus—His for me (and you). Because it is so contrary to our natures, the thought of suffering with or for Him is perhaps the hardest means of identification with Jesus we are given. James said, “Count it all joy...” What was he thinking? Obviously something very different than I was.
I hope this helps someone. But even if it does not, being faithful to write this brought one desperate man through the fire of conviction, confession, and confirmation that the love of Jesus brings forgives and restores the joy of His salvation bought for me (and you) on the Cross.
This is Maundy Thursday. Maundy means mandate or command. It was birthed from the passage in John 13 after Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. In verse 34, John wrote Jesus’ words to His closest followers:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
Today (and every day), whether we wash someone else’s feet or not, let’s go figure out ways to love on them.
Your desperate brother in Christ,