“Dancing with Broken Bones: Joy in Pain and Suffering”

Devotions From the Heart
“Dancing with Broken Bones…”
June 2016

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“Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” I Peter 4:19

“True joy is more than a passing emotion. It’s the natural overflow of a life in union with the God who both created it and redeemed it. It was never meant to hang on the hooks of the circumstances of our lives – the results of the x-rays, the kids’ next report cards, or the blister on the bottom of my left foot. Rather, it’s amazing stuff that blazes up most strongly when I am weak or have the least reason to feel it. Joy is an incredibly satisfying thing that lays bedrock in a person’s soul, something that can’t be shaken.”[1]

The title “Dancing with Broken Bones” has always been one that puts a practical “mind handle” on the Christian life for me. It says that we are “dancing” i.e., rejoicing” and are “happy” in our Christian walk though it be filled with pain and suffering. Having been a ballerina for many years, I know what it is like to “dance” on sprained or painful feet. It hurts! Perhaps that is why I like this title so much. It “fits” me physically and spiritually so I understand it and can apply it.

There are many books written on this subject and some I particularly like are the Puritans, “Affliction” by Edith Schaeffer, “Surprised by Suffering” by R.C. Sproul, “The Shadow of Calvary” by Hugh Martin, “Suffering of Man and the Sovereignty of God” by C.H. Spurgeon and the newest books which I am reading: “Misery of Job and the Mercy of God” by John Piper and “O Lord, How Long” by D.A. Carson. Of course, my favorite always devotional “The Valley of Vision” by Arthur Bennett and other Puritan writers always bring soothing balm to my soul. Last, but not least, one cannot truly read the beautiful books containing the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and providence without coming away with an understanding of God’s love, mercy and care in the afflictions of His people.

I am reminded of the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 10 when he states that we are “… sorrowful, but always rejoicing” and in Romans 12:12 that we are “…rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer….” This is the truly biblical path of a true believer in the Lord Jesus — it is a path of suffering but one of great joy and anticipation for the work of Christ in our life and in the “joy” that is set before us to serve Him faithfully in our sojourn on the earth. Are we despondent, discouraged, and frustrated with our trials and afflictions? We should not be — we should be rejoicing so this begs the question: Are we better than He? Did He suffer? Yes, more than any man and not only that, He suffered an eternity in hell for each of us for our transgressions and He accomplished it as “the joy set before Him.” Does He not tell us “you will suffer persecution” (trials, pain, suffering, affliction, loss)? Yes, and He also tells us that we are “more than conquerors” in these things because of His love, His power, His grace and His Spirit. He sustains, He loves, He protects, He heals, and He providentially cares and in His caring is our rest, our hope, our joy and our blessing. He is a tender Father, who loves and cares for His children and He will bring us through the trials of life decked in the ornaments of His love and care. We serve a gracious, kind and tender God, who loves us so much that He brings suffering to us, just as He did to His dear Son, our Lord Jesus, and since we are His offspring; we likewise walk in these same steps. Therefore, what do we say of these things? We say I rejoice and praise my God for His great blessings of suffering to me! I will rejoice and be glad for He has given me life and everything both now and forevermore! This is dancing on broken bones!!

“Tremendous victory is only possible in the face of a tremendous battle. As we consider affliction, our desire should be to help each other find victory in hidden places and “overcome him by the blood of the Lamb” in very practical moment-by-moment happenings in our day-to-day lives. Between our own birth and death, that is our second birth and our death at the Second Coming of Christ, we are in danger of losing what we are meant to be experiencing, as well as knowing in our heads, because we are not recognizing something of what is taking place. We are also in danger of not caring enough about showing God our love and trust of Him in the all-too-short period of time that we are given to take part in the “battle of the heavenlies.” We are too easily turned toward thinking of what we can “get” in the way of happiness by being a Christian. We fail to remember the seriousness of total history and of our own particular moment in history. “ . . . And they loved not their lives unto death.” This speaks of a conviction and willingness to be used by God at tremendous cost.”[2]

“Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.”James 5:13

* * *
Living Coram Deo,
Editor & Publisher,”Heavenly Notes 2002″
Heavenly Notes Address:
The JoyPals Network
Copyright 1997-2016
All rights reserved.
[1] “Dancing with Broken Bones” David Swartz, p.76
[2] “Affliction” Edith Schaeffer, p. 27
Original Posting:
Editor & Publisher,“Heavenly Notes 2002”


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