I’ve learned that avoiding suffering isn’t the goal in life. That took about ten years to figure out. Then I realized suffering on some scale or another was inevitable in my life. That’s when I began to realize the goal wasn’t even to survive suffering, but to accept it… not embrace it, necessarily, but to accept it. I wonder if I truly believe that God really is working on me in the midst of my suffering? I think I must believe this to be so, otherwise, well – I might just go crazy. So where does that leave us? I don’t know about you, but for me, I’ve learned how to enjoy really simple things like how good an ice cold coke tastes on a hot summer day. And THAT only took me another ten years to figure out.
We will suffer. It IS. . . unavoidable. I now understand that God wants to work within me, especially in the midst of my suffering, whether my suffering is great or small. He wants to be affirmed in my suffering. He longs to strengthen and restore me in my suffering. He wants to be glorified in my suffering in order to establish me in His great glory and his grace. Christ has already experienced the pain of our suffering. All that remains is for His true nature, in all it’s beauty, be revealed to us within our suffering.
When I approach my suffering from this standpoint, it no longer consumes me. In fact, from this beautiful vantage point, my suffering suddenly seems quite small and well worth my temporary pain and anguish. God’s Beauty can be seen even in the smallest of ways. . . especially in the midst of my suffering. Today, despite whatever pain there may be, I will experience the Beauty of Suffering. And amazingly, this brings me incredible comfort and Joy.
Peace, Sean Gutteridge
1 Peter 5:10
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.