This Scripture has been working on me all week, sending me round and round, yielding no clear answers. This passage raises the eternal question: Why doesn’t God simply solve difficult situations? Why doesn’t He ‘sort out’ those who persecute us? Why does He allow our suffering? I know much has been said over the years about suffering and the fact that it’s likely one of the greatest challenges to our faith (certainly mine at times). But I still struggle – why do we suffer?
It helps me to remember that I’m not the first person who’s suffered in this life. I love the show ‘The Crown’ because it’s a useful reminder that being royalty doesn’t insulate you from all of life’s problems. The quote from H. Jackson Brown Jr. ‘Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something,’ also reminds me that every person has suffered at various times. And finally, the greatest example of all, God Himself suffering with us through Jesus, who was betrayed and killed by those closest to Him.
So, given that suffering is universal, I imagine I’m also not alone in looking for meaning in it. But I wonder whether finding meaning there isn’t about seeing these situations as either good or bad, but rather simply acknowledging that suffering is part of our shared human journey. To recognise that we’ve been hurt, and how our life is different as a result. (As an aside, do you ever notice how the best, most humble and wonderful people seem to be those whose storyline/path in life include suffering and failing? Stories where people go from strength to strength are never very inspiring or relatable.)
There’s so much in this world I can’t control, suffering being one, but I take comfort from the fact that I’m not alone. My Brothers and Sisters walk with me on this journey and can be a source of comfort. And, at the last, God hears and knows my suffering. He will never leave me. And for that I rejoice.
Moving Forward: Make a list of the ways suffering has been a part of your journey and ways you’ve found meaning through the struggle.