The theme for this month’s group writing project at Middle Zone Musings is What I Learned from Adversity. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you might think I have plenty to write about.
I’ve been through a number of experiences that could be called adversity … things like:
- Rejection, both personal and professional
- Robbery and molestation at gunpoint
- An attack by a Doberman requiring more than 50 stitches in my head
- A burst appendix I didn’t know about for a week
- A stroke at the hands of a chiropractor that put in a wheelchair for five years
- Uncontrolled myoclonic seizures for six years, keeping me from participating in life fully
Yet in this Holy Week, I am contemplating what my Lord and Savior did for me, and I realize that, compared to Jesus, I’ve never suffered adversity.
As Isaiah (Chapter 53, KJV) prophesied:
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Nothing I have ever experienced or ever will experience can compare to our Lord and Savior being beaten, mocked, tortured, and murdered in the most vicious way.
And why? For my sins and your sins and the sins of the whole world. If I were the only person who needed redemption, Jesus would have died for me alone. My sin makes me Judas betraying Him, the chief priests and scribes condemning Him, Pilate washing his hands of Him, the crowd calling “Crucify Him!,” and the Roman soldiers killing Him.
Yet Jesus prayed on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34, KJV)
What have I learned from adversity? I’ve learned that …
- Jesus “was oppressed, and he was afflicted” (Isaiah 53:7, KJV), and any adversity I will ever endure is mild compared to what He suffered.
- Whenever I go through adversity, Jesus is with me “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5, KJV)
- “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18, KJV)