” When people remember the past, they don’t only talk about happiness. It is often the ordeals that seem most significant. People shoot for happiness but feel formed through suffering.”
Please take the time to read this New York Times article, What Suffering Does by David Brooks.
It will be well worth your time.
Suffering is part of life. We don’t understand why. It just is.
But beyond the here and now, there is more.
Sometimes, we become very focused on our suffering and dwell on it. It helps to look up and remember humanity has suffered since the beginning of time.
There has to be more than what we see.
There has to be more than we understand.
Maybe not having the answers is the answer.
Photo credit: jurvetson / Foter / CC BY
My friend was suffering. She was facing multiple, serious situations all happening within a couple of days. She was going down and she knew it.
There are times when we just want to close our eyes and not wake up. The pain is too much.
“Tell me something,” she said. I knew the desperation she was feeling. I knew she did not have an ounce of strength. She had enough.
Without blinking an eye, and surprised at what came out of my mouth, I said: “All I can tell you is that the sun rises every morning.”
It was all she needed.
So much we cannot predict.
Some things we can.
And as long as we can, there is hope.
Why are we surprised when we have to suffer?
Especially in the American culture – our first response is disbelief. How can this happen to me? Why did this happen to me?
If the Son of God endured pain and suffering, is it really unimaginable that we should suffer?
Yet, in the suffering there are wonderful treasures to be discovered. Even the natural realm reveals the benefits of the processes and pressures involved. The crushing of olives for olive oil, the friction of sand to make a pearl, and the heat required to purify gold.
We don’t look for suffering as if it will make us better people. We accept it when it comes. This is not a defeatist mentality. It is faith when we walk through it with courage and strength, allowing God to do what he says he will do.
I, even I, am he who comforts you.