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"Obedience through suffering" Lenten Devotional 7

Hebrews 5:8-9

“Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.”

I’ve recently heard it said that when we are broken over and over again, we find the parts of ourselves that are indestructible. This past semester has been the most challenging for me spiritually, academically, and emotionally. I experienced pain in a way that I never anticipated I would experience it. I was broken. With the help of my minister and some on-campus resources, I was able to work through the pain to find strength where I had previously seen only brokenness. I saw in myself the parts of me that are indestructible- the parts of me that would be utterly lost if not for the strength given to me by God.

As a result of my experience, I have learned to be a better advocate and I have learned to see my own pain and the pain of others as a transformative part of our stories but not the end of our stories. With strength from God, I learned faithfulness and obedience that I may not have ever learned if it were not for this painful experience. I had been cast out into the wilderness as Jesus was, and I got to see what the wilderness had to teach me. Wilderness tends to be an unforgiving place, yet every time I find myself there, I learn a little more about who I am.

In today’s scripture, Paul tells his readers that Jesus learned obedience through suffering. If we are called to be like Jesus, let’s see how we can do the same. I imagine that as you read about my story, you thought of your own pain and wilderness. Take a good long look at that pain. Feel it. Don’t dull it. I encourage you to let it teach you what parts of you are indestructible. Think of it as the work of the resurrection. Know that the resurrection cannot have happened without the crucifixion. Don’t dull the joy of resurrection by dulling the pain of the crucifixion. Know your pain. Let it teach you faithfulness and obedience and knowledge of the parts of you that are indestructible. When you find this gift of God in yourself, you are able to take a step into God’s presence and life-giving light and resurrection.

O God, my Rock, help me to see and hear and feel. Give me strength to know my pain and to not let it define me. Make my experiences transformational, purposeful and joyful. Remind me that where I see brokenness you see your beloved. Thank you for this gift of everyday resurrection. Amen.
-Kelsey Cobbs, Senior Religion Major


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