Today my daughter announces that she hates being so short. "Everyone else my age is taller than I am!"
I want to deny it. I want to comfort her. I want to tell her to get over it.
But she is rather short. So instead of denying the truth of her statement, I remind her that God has a reason for everything.
"Can you think of any reason why a loving God would let you be shorter than everyone else right now?" I ask her, staring deeply into those little girl eyes that will undoubtedly face a lifetime of the kinds of disappointments and heartbreak that come with the human experience. She will ask so many why? questions as the years unfold.
She tilts her head to one side and ponders the thought. "Well, I can get into places that most people can't."
This means she wins hide-n-seek. This means she has an advantage in finding hiding places that suddenly makes her stature valuable. What a change of heart!
All day, this statement resonates in my heart: "I can get into places that most people can't." I talk to God about this, and I imagine this conversation:
Yes. You can go where others cannot. That's what this confusion, this disappointment, this heartache is for. Your experience gives you access. It's a portal into a place others cannot--or will not--go.
I find myself welling up. God speaks to my own heart through my daughter's answer. Suffering allows you to "get into places that most people can't." I think about ministry opportunities, writing projects, insights, amazing friendships, communities, and blessing after blessing because I went into beautiful spiritual and physical places I could only enter through the door of suffering.
Living with flair means knowing that you can go where others cannot because of the things you've suffered.
Journal: Where has your suffering allowed you to go?