“Broken, beat, and scarred. We die hard. What doesn’t kill us, makes us more strong. We rise, we fall, we get up again. What doesn’t kill us makes us more strong. Broken, beat, and scarred. We die hard!!!”
Some pretty intense lyrics if we think about them. They come from the Metallica song, “Broken, beat, and scarred.”
When I read the writings of the apostle Paul and hear about his flogging, stonings, and imprisonments, I think that I surely haven’t suffered much for my Christian faith. Despite all of Paul’s persecutions he kept rising up again. Forget John McClane – The Apostle Paul knew what it meant to “Die Hard.” I have not yet shed blood for my faith in Jesus in Christ. I might never do so, but the words of Paul still ring true for me and all of us when he says that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope doesn’t disappoint us.
Yet, I know I complain a lot about my present sufferings. I think most of us do. But here, coming from Metallica, I am reminded that what doesn’t kill us makes us more strong. I think of Paul when he said, “When I am weak, I am strong.” When he’s weak, he has no choice but to cling to God! When he is holding on to God, then he is strong.
One complaint against Christianity is the problem of evil and suffering in the world. It’s easy to say “what doesn’t kill us makes us more strong” when it’s simple sufferings, broken arm a bad breakup, but what about genocide, rape, a four-year old with cancer. We tend to want to wave our fist at God! What’s your problem??? Why didn’t you stop this. We can’t see the good that can come from it. What loving Father would allow such a thing to his children – stronger – yea right!
The answer lies in Jesus. Being God, perfect and sinless, he still suffered. He suffered on our behalf, because of our shortcomings. It lies in God’s patience with us! Does he want pain and suffering for us – no! But he allows it. If he were to intervene now, what would that mean for everyone who doesn’t know him. He is patient in his return, waiting for more people to come to repentance? It’s his will that no man should eternally perish – sadly, we are set to face a physical death as our exodus from this life. The answer won’t satisfy everybody and I hope and pray that I stand firm in the faith and trust God’s plan of redemption when the worst of the worst hits my life. In the end, at Christ’s return, those of us who died in Christ will be raised to new life with bodies that will never be broken, beat, or scarred.