Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A GUY Guest Blogger: Chris Dotson! "Suffering Leads to Joy?? Whaaat?!"

Hello Girls! 
I always love having our interns guest blog from time to time and especially love having our guys write. What girl doesn't like to hear from a guys perspective from time to time? Chris Dotson joined our intern team this semester and has been a ball of energy from day one! Chris is from Tampa, FL and is in his sophomore year at Lee University. He is never at a loss for words, but lucky for us, some of those words bring some great ideas to our team and Student Ministry. If you haven't gotten a chance to meet Chris, be sure to on a Wednesday Night! Enjoy reading below one of the life lessons Chris has learned along the way! - Ms. Suzanne          


             Have you ever had those times when everything is just not going your way? I’m talking about nothing, nada, zilch. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to catch a break. In those times, it’s so hard to see the Lord. I remember a time last year where nothing was going right for me. You see, I’m currently a sophomore at Lee University. I came to Lee as a freshman with a scholarship to run cross country and track. It was not much, but it was helping me get through school. Well, as far as running goes, nothing went right. I was injured repeatedly. First it was a stress fracture, next a pulled muscle, next a torn ligament. “God, why are you doing this to me? I thought you brought me here to run?” that was my question over and over when I prayed. I did not understand why this kept happening to me. To make it even worse, I started to experience rejection from my friends who were on the team. Because I was constantly hurt my teammates, without meaning to, began to exclude me. I felt alone.

 It was at this time of aloneness, that I had one of the most spiritual experiences in my life. Now no, I’m not saying the Lord appeared to me and spoke audibly to me, but He did something I will never forget. During this season of my life, I was not consistently in the Word. There were days at a time where I did not say one thing to the Lord. One particular night though, I felt like I needed to read Romans 5…don’t ask me why; trust me it was a God thing. I opened my bible and read these 2 verses that changed my life forever:
 “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing suffering produces endurance, and endurance character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 3-5 ESV).
It finally hit me. I had missed it so bad; so, so, so bad. You see, my whole life I had built up my happiness in other things; running, school, popularity, acceptance, girls, companionship, etc. The thing is, we serve a jealous God who will not allow us to find complete joy and happiness in the things of this world. Our happiness should be found solely in the Lord. When I finally grasped this, I understood why all these “bad” things were happening to me. God was trying to teach me something. He was showing me that I was placing my happiness in the wrong things. Like the verse says, “suffering produces endurance, and endurance character, and character produces hope” I was only going to gain hope in Jesus by going through these trials; and it took Jesus allowing me to suffer, to teach me this.
So now, I look at life differently. There is a reason everything happens (sounds cliché, I know). But it’s true! God has you in your circumstance, at your school, at your job, on your sports team, for a reason. Though there may be trials that cause you to suffer, remember this: instead of asking God “why, why, why?” ask Him, “How? How can you use me to glorify and grow in you in the circumstance I’m in?” I promise you that if you do this, you will always find hope in the dark times of your life.

- Chris Dotson 




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