Tuesday, March 16, 2010

REGARDING SUFFERING





I was requested to reprint an entry I did in 2001. The entry was a reply to a friend wanting my opinion about suffering. The following is that entry.

MY REPLY REGARDING SUFFERING

If I get requests to write about something, it's almost always on suffering. When I respond to these letters I point out that my viewpoint is based upon two things: 1-
the way I interpret what I've read, and 2- my life experiences with suffering.
   "Why do I suffer when I love the Lord, and try hard to do the right things"
That's a question I get asked a lot, and always, my immediate answer is

"Why not? Why should we not suffer? "Because I'm a Christian and trust in God"
is the usual reply.
   I suppose I should have asked, " How could we not?" as well. How could we not suffer if we share a planet where so many don't believe in, or love God? We've all heard  the expression "we reap what we sow," which is true. But let's not forget that not only do we reap what we sow, but reap what others sow as well.
   If we do a good deed others are blessed. But if we do something bad, others reap the pain of that bad deed.
   When I ask why shouldn't we suffer, I am, I suppose, asking, are we better than Christ? He didn't sow evil, yet suffered because of the evil others sowed - and so shall we.
   We're not entitled to comfort simply because we wish to possess it. And how unrealistic to think we can rid ourselves of suffering and stress simply by wishing for it, without first seeing to understand and recognize that quite often, our darkest moments contain the greatest blessings.
   Those things that soften our hearts and enable us to think in ways that
enrich our lives are not upon us when we enter this world. The world is a
harsh taskmaster, demanding perservence, courage, patience, humility,
wisdom, faith, loyalty, compassion, and understanding. Those things are acquired through suffering: how could this not be so?
    We cannot even give definition to these words until we've first experienced them, and when we have, we're ready to come to the aid of others.
   Suffering, even in the smallest of ways is a blessing, in that it enables us to appreciate the Lord in a much more personal, deeper way. Good people do experience harships, but the hardship eventually come to an end. This is true of bad people as well. To all that has a beginning - there is an end. Our life, here on earth, is temporary.
     Most Christians view life as a school of learning, and most seem to agree that only by experience does understanding grow.
    The Scriptures say " all things work together for good..." I interpret that verse as meaing that everything will come out right in the end. But I understand too, that the {ALL} in that verse includes the bad: the low points in our lives, the disappointments, the heartaches and sorrows; the things that rob us our of our dreams and lay our hearts low, upon the ground.
   I doubt any man would wish pain upon himself, but  pain is something we all share. I strive to reach that place of Holy Indifference, as I believe Paul did.  Of what is suffering to me? It may flood my eyes with tears, might steal away those who claimed to love me, might throw betrayal in my face, might leave me hungry, restless upon my bed at night because of pain, might prevent sleep from finding me or throw worry darts at me, trying to fill me with dread, but it cannot remove from my heart and mind the knowledge, the awesome presence of Christr within me. Suffering of itself cannot touch that part of me that is GOD's. If I live- I am the Lord's, and if I die, I am yet His. Either way I win.

1 comment:

Sayit-baldys said...

BARB, I LIKE THIS ENTRY.
I THANK OUR LORD FOR 'NO PAIN' AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE.
IN PAST YEARS THERE HAS BEEN PAIN. ONCE WENT FOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS COULD NOT LIE DOWN BECAUSE OF BACK SPASMS. SLEPT VERY LITTLE WHEN LEANING OVER A LARGE CHAIR. I DO KNOW WHAT PAIN IS.
VERY THANKFUL FOR THIS TIME OF NO PAIN.
ANOTHER TIME HAD A FREAK ACCIDENT WHEN LARGE ICE-CYCLES FELL AND STRUCK MY HEAD OVER THE RIGHT EYE. HAD SEVERE HEAD AND EYE ACHE FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. NO DAMAGE TO EYESIGHT. CAN READ LARGER PRINT WITHOUT EYEGLASSES AND HAVE CLEAR DISTANT VISION WITHOUT GLASSES.

REPEATEDLY THANKING GOD FOR THESE BLESSINGS. WHY ME ? I KNOW THAT GOD LOVES ME AS HE LOVES OTHER CHRISTIANS THAT SUFFER MUCH PAIN.
THIS TIME OF 'NO PAIN' IS TRULY WONDERFUL AND IF THE TIME COMES TO THE RETURN OF PAIN IT WILL BE ACCEPTED AND CONTINUE TO THANK GOD FOR THE MANY BLESSINGS ONE OF WHICH IS MY RECOVERING FROM A 'STROKE' IN OCTOBER OF YEAR 2008, NO PAIN AND CLEAR MEMORY SINCE FOUR OR FIVE YEARS OLD.
I WILL BE 90 IN APRIL THIS YEAR 2010.
I KNOW THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT PAIN AND CERTAINLY HAVE NO ANSWERS EXCEPT THAT WE SHOULD THANK GOD FOR HIS LOVE FOR US AND REMEMBER THAT JESUS SUFFERED SO MUCH PAIN WITH INNOCENCE. sam