Haven't you noticed? Times when what you've experienced in life separates you from others? I mean from "others" who have never been through what you have. Paul, in writing to the Christians in Philippi, once talked about the "fellowship of His suffering." The early Christians were together members of an "exclusive fellowship" who knew pain, hardship, and persecution in Christ's name. They loved and supported each other out of that common bond ... One time, a church member approached a "high-end" pastor because of family difficulties. The church member lamented that, no matter how much she tried to explain where she was, it's meaningless to the pastor whom she described to be indifferent. What were just mere words to the pastor were a language to her! So she stopped trying. The pastor was not a member of the "exclusive fellowship!" ... Very few, including pastors, if any, voluntarily enroll in this fellowship. Indeed, this is one of those things I never learned in the seminary or academic classroom. And that is, part of God's medicine for His children's spiritual health and growth is to be enriched, purified, and changed into His image through pain, brokenness, and suffering. God feeds us through this exercise until the world sees His reflection in us.
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