It is amazing what happens to us when we go through trials. Some people cry. Some nervously laugh. Some scream. Yet few rejoice. Why? Probably it is because they do not like what they are going through. In Part 3, we will find out how paper feels when it is copied onto. Paper? What does that have to do with life?
Remember, we are comparing a copy machine and its processes, to our own lives. Well paper has a big part of that process. Think about it, if you didn’t have paper, then what would the copier print to? Nothing. No viable, usable image. Just a machine running and running producing nothing but noise and wasting toner and electricity.
Recently, I had a discussion with some different types of paper (not really but I imagined I did). The paper told me that it hated what it had to go through once it was placed in the copy machine. When I asked what bothered it, the paper told me this story.
“How would you feel if you were warm and cozy with your friends, bundled up and comfortable, when someone took you and your friends and placed you in a cold metal tray? Then you were forced to leave by yourself, electrocuted and dirt was placed all over you. Finally, as this was all happening so quickly, you went into a system that was extremely hot and two round object pressed all the air out of you. How would that make you feel?”
So if that imaginary conversation actually happened how would you answer? Would you sympathize with the paper and gloat in sorrow with it? Would you say, “But you don’t understand why you need to go through that process. You’re beautiful!” Would you ignore the paper’s concerns and complaints and just try to make it smile? No matter what you thought of there is a real opportunity here to understand that our lives compare fully with the paper’s experience of the copy process.
How many times have we suffered and said, “Why God, why?” or “Why me and not someone else who deserves it?” Many times in our lives, we go through a process where hard times meet hard circumstances. We lose our jobs. We find out we have cancer. Someone we love dies suddenly and for no reason. There is suffering in the world and we can’t escape it. But there is hope.
“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” – Psalm 119:50 (NIV 1984)
Did you see that? Did you see what the psalmist said. He said that he has comfort in suffering. Why? Because, he knows that God is preserving his life. When you read the Psalms you will see many authors share their suffering experiences but in the end the hold to the fact that God will lead them through the dark times.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4 (NIV 1984)
Here David knew while King Saul was hunting him, David drew near to the realization that God was in control and was leading him through the trials. We can hold to that as well. Are we going to be sad? Yes. Are we going to be upset with the problems we face? Absolutely. Will we lose our patience and temper because of our suffering? No doubt, but if you are a Christian, you can hold onto what Jesus told his disciples just before He ascended into heaven, “I am with you always, even to the very end of the age”.
Jesus wants to be a part of your suffering. He understands our suffering. He was beaten and crucified for our sin. If you are not a Christian, my hope is that you will see that although our lives may be jammed again, Jesus wants us to come to Him with our messed up lives. He wants to take part in whatever you are going through. Come to Jesus and see that your life doesn’t have to be jammed all the time.