Spinach for the soul!

December 28, 2006

Going through tough times, through hard situations, can bring about some good.  At the time we can moan and groan saying, ‘Where is God in all this?’. 

If only we looked to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemene, sweating blood at fear of what lay before him.  If he hadn’t endured the cross then the great and victorious overcoming of death would never have come about.

Who knows, someone may benefit from the suffering you’re going through now.

It is hard and horrid, yet in a mysterious way suffering strengthens us.  It hones our priorities, giving us perspective on our lives.  Through being weakened to the point of realising our humanity, we are strengthened as we acknowledge God’s Divinity.

You may have an illness, an absent family member, a struggle in your spiritual life… next time you go through a rough patch consider it spinach for your soul – something maybe you feel you can’t stomach may be a defining moment in your life when you look back.

Blessed are those who mourn – they WILL be comforted!

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26 Responses to “Spinach for the soul!”

  1. Lorna said

    There’s a little bit of the messiah complex in this “Who knows, someone may benefit from the suffering you’re going through now.” I’m more inclined to agree with the rest of your post – that’s it spinach for MY soul, not for the good of another person …

    blessings

  2. faithwalk said

    I have found this to be so true! the most difficult times drive us to our knees and into the arms of Jesus where grace and strength; His strength, abounds in our weakness. These truly are defining moments inour lives!
    Bless you Maria!

  3. misslionheart said

    Thankyou for dropping in. All the best for 2007

  4. misslionheart said

    p.s. I blogged a joke you’ll appreciate!

  5. timglass said

    Thanks for the reminder, Maria! Happy 4th day of Christmas!

  6. yyen said

    Hello Maria!

    Thanks for visiting The Writing Life. Looking forward to sharing more thoughts with you.

    Capturing every thought for Christ,
    Yen Nie of Malaysia

  7. Roo said

    “Why does God let bad things happen?”

    The answer to this is simple. Bad things happen so more good can come from them. Suffering is the spinach of the soul, but Lorna has it wrong that suffering for someone else is a ‘messiah complex.’ Suffering for someone else is EXACTLY why suffering is the spinach of the soul.

    An old spiritual practice is making a come back these days. It’s the idea of ‘offering it up.’ When life sucks, you offer it up to God. In doing so, you are not being a martyr, but rather doing what God asks of you: giving your whole self to him. God doesn’t just want our joys, our accomplishments, and our charities. God wants our failures, our wounds, and our distress. That is the essense of giving yourself fully to God.

    Offering up our suffering to God has been maligned in the last twenty or so years thanks to a ‘culture of me’ that says suffering has no value and therefore anyone who is happy even when they suffer is crazy. But offering up your suffering to God does benefit other people.

    There are millions of people around the world that if someone said just one prayer for them, their lives would change dramatically. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of souls stuck in purgatory that have no one to pray for them anymore. Offering up your suffering to God, gives God the ability to turn it into goodness for someone forgotten by the world.

    The first chapter of Michael Dubruiel’s “Getting the Most out of the Eucharist” talks about offering it up and does a much better job explaining it than I. I would suggest that anyone pick it up.

    But for anyone who doubts that offering it up is a good thing, I will list the names of recent, great religious people who have done it: Mother Theresa, Mother Angelica, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI.

    Offering it up to help someone else puts you in good company.

    In Christ,
    Nicolle

    P.S. – This is a very timely piece. Last night I was so stressed out I offered it up with my bed time prayers. Offering it up is a habit I’ve been cultivating. It’s helped my peace of mind a lot.

  8. Esther said

    Maria, I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I tried subscribing to your RSS feed but it is not turned on.
    God bless,

  9. Mel said

    “Spinach for the Soul”… I like that a lot. Very Creative 🙂

  10. Lorna said

    Nicolle – it IS about attitude 🙂 Offering up is about putting God BACK into the picture. So often stress etc is related to losing sight of Jesus – or lack of confidence that God is Almighty and has it – whatever it is – in control.

    I didn’t express myself very well in the opening comment – but I think I meant that our suffering is more about our being real before God and meeting Him where we are – and NOT primarily FOR someone else.

  11. Brian Alexander said

    I hope so too. I’m sure the other cd I got will do that too.

  12. Robk said

    Ditto, here. I love the perspective.

  13. Brian Alexander said

    yeah..some of the pastors on god.tv are a little outragous. like the one on right now..

    -Brian

  14. Roo said

    Lorna – I agree. We shouldn’t offer it up primarily for someone else. To be closer to God should always be primary to everything we do.

    Sometimes the only encouragement we have to offer it up is that it will be of use to someone else. As a few family members of mine would say rather during a bad patch, “This better be getting somebody out of purgatory!” Think of it as presenting an incidental of the act to help get to the heart of it.

    In Christ,
    Nicolle

  15. Tom said

    Maria: Great post–SPINACH for the Soul. I like that (and I like spinach too, though I didn’t like it as a kid; I try to eat it regularly now). Sorry I haven’t visited your site for a while. Here’s my response to your final comment on the post: . . . weeping may endure for a night, but JOY cometh in the morning (Ps. 30:5b)! God Bless!

  16. helenl said

    Very good metaphor, Maria.

  17. I am eating by the handfuls right now. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Blessings to you,
    Ronda

  18. timbob said

    Greetings. Romans 8:28 is very insightful as the Lord has everything under control; even when it seems as though everything is run amuck. We all need spinach every now and then. Thanks for leaving a comment earlier.

  19. spinach for the soul – that is good! 🙂

  20. Chris D said

    Beautiful, encouraging message–got a similar message earlier from another writer. Hmmmmmm

    Have a beautiful New Years!

    Love, Chris

  21. Moe said

    It defiantly can be like eating spinach, and sometimes even comfort about how it will work together for good can seem trite, because we normally aren’t able to even get a glimpse of our growth or the good that has come out of it for quite awhile later. It is comforting, though, that God doesn’t allow pointless pain into our lives, even though it obviously still isn’t pleasant to swallow.

    -Kelsey

  22. rindy said

    I LOVE spinach–eat it every day!!
    Suffering definitely strengthens us, although I wish there was an easier way–his power works best in weakness–I am a living example of this! thank you Jesus!

  23. Joni said

    That’s a great word picture-spinach for the soul. And you know, the Apostle Paul told us that the suffering we go through will benefit someone else down the road who is going through the same thing. (2 Cor 1:3-5) Just as God comforts us, we can in turn comfort someone else. I don’t know if that means that your trials are intended for someone else’s benefit but it is true that being able to empathize with another is surely a byproduct of your experience. Good word Maria.

  24. Joni – I was thinking of 2 Cor. 1:3-5 as well – I have found it to be very true. Someone who has gone through what you are going through, has authority to speak to your suffering that someone else couldn’t have.

    But I think there is more than just comfort, as powerful as that may be. I think that as we surrender our suffering to the Lord, He will redeem it, not only for us but also for others – the cross being the prime example of redemptive suffering.

    Good thoughts Maria.

  25. farmerjon said

    Thanks for the great post Maria and for visiting my blog. I’m from the US and haven’t stumbled across your blog until today – thanks to your signature in your comment on my blog.

    My family has been “eating a lot of spinach” as of late and this post really hits home. Giving our lives and even our day to day situations to God has been a blessing. Thank you!

    FarmerJon
    http://discipleshipmeanderings.wordpress.com/

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