A few years ago, while traveling to Uganda, I met a little girl and completely fell in love with her. My family began caring for her needs from afar, visiting her twice a year and praying for her. Eventually God made it clear that He wanted us to pursue her adoption. I thought my heart would burst for joy because I wanted to welcome her into our family so badly.
A month before we were to travel to Uganda to complete her adoption, this little girl suddenly passed away. There are no words to describe waking up on a Sunday morning to the news that this daughter of ours was dead. I’ve been consumed with processing the hurt and confusion concerning what happened.
These emotions aren’t limited to what happened to my daughter. I’m working through my hurt and confusion over God’s hand in this. I obeyed Him. I did what He told me to do. I followed where He led. And now I’m suffering for it.
Obedience is supposed to bring blessings, right? What happens when obedience brings pain? We go out of our way to protect ourselves from pain and suffering. But our strategy of avoidance is a fool’s errand for believers. Following Christ will eventually lead to suffering. Scripture tells us not to be surprised when trials come (1 Peter 4:12). We must broaden our understanding of obedience to include the truth that we may suffer for our obedience.