My 2 ½ year old grandson came to stay with us when his newborn sister was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) one hour and forty five minutes away from home. His mom would stay by her newborn’s bedside for the next 21 days while his daddy went to work and school in between his trips back and forth to the hospital. It was a trying time for all of us.
This was not the first time we had been to this NICU and as unfortunate as it was we already knew all the staff in this specialized care facility for newborns. You see, the little guy that was smiling up at me every day asking for “a bite of” was in this same facility during his first month of life as well.
Even though our time together was unexpected we made the best of it, and like any good “Meme” we got caught up on our Looney Toons episodes! One day, as I watched these old familiar cartoons, Sylvester the cat said “sufferin’ succotash.” I thought, “That’s it! This suffering is for a reason, it is meant to help me understand how much Jesus suffered for me.” In this light bulb moment I realized I had wanted my salvation and all the goodness that comes with that, but I wasn’t willing to suffer like my Savior had. I wanted my cake and to eat it too!
Reality set in and I began to question my faith, my belief in God, and I think even lost my hope for a time. God began to show me some things I didn’t really want to read or hear about. We must be willing to suffer like His Son did. Jesus was lonely, hungry and tired. He had no home or income. Once it was discovered he could heal people Jesus was hounded and called upon until it made it very difficult for him to spend time alone with his Father. He was persecuted, ridiculed and laughed at before he ever got to the cross.
I began to ask myself: could I trust God even when I couldn’t see? Did I really believe He was the God of all comfort? Was my faith strong or weak? I honestly was not very proud of some of my answers.
1 Peter 4: 12-13 – Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
“The Good News” comes with a price. Jesus suffered and died for our sins so we could have access to the Throne Room. We must be willing to partake in the sufferings of Christ to really know and experience the glory of God. Let me ask you today – are you willing to share in the sufferings of Christ? Can you trust when you cannot see? Will you hold onto your hope in Christ when things look bleak?
One interesting side note: When I googled suffering succotash I found the following information on the term:
In the mid-1800s, during the Victorian era, there was a rejection of all profanity and so the common people developed a wide variety of malapropisms to avoid swearing on Holy names. Soon, one could hear “cripes” and “crikey” replace “Christ” and “dangnabit” replace “G*d damn it”; and “cheese ‘n’ rice” replace “Jesus Christ.” The phrase “suffering succotash” replaced “suffering Savior.”