A friend of mine said “No one gets out of life unscathed.” Isn’t that the truth! My book touches on suffering in different chapters, and what I’d learned from those who’d gone before me. I have learned the most from people who have lost the most. They suffered. They have overcome giants.
Why does an all powerful, all loving God, permit suffering? Its a question we all ask, because we all hurt. Its a question we can ask God. He may not give a reason, but He will give comfort.
What I have learned from my walk with the King is that he does not dismiss or diminish suffering, even though the reasons for it are not offered. He will bring meaning out of it, if we trust Him, if we permit Him. He will use suffering to fashion something above human reason that is of immense value, something that has dignity, beauty, and honour.
The King did not get out of life unscathed either. He has the scars to prove it. He, the Great I AM, got down into this suffering world with us. My Grandfather, who had stoically endured a lifetime of blindness was urged on his deathbed to accept Christ. He said, “But I’ve suffered.” The answer came softly, in the words he most needed to hear; “Christ suffered too.”
What I needed to learn, was never give up.
Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere. Hebrews 10:35
The King even tells what the reward is; “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
Keep the faith.
My Gran once recited part of a poem to me by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, which I never forgot.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you
Weep and you weep alone
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth
But has troubles enough of its own.”
It almost stopped me getting help from a friend when I really needed it.
This would have been a popular poem in her time. Weep, and you weep alone. In our family, it became a truth. That’s the world’s wisdom.
But it was not THE truth.
In the Kingdom, it’s the other way around.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
Which is better?
The shortest verse of the Bible is “Jesus wept”. He wept even though He knew that He was going to bring Lazarus back from the dead. He wept for the sisters that lost their brother. He wept for those who weep.
In Isaiah 53, a prophecy about the King written about 700 years before His birth, He is described as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4
We are not alone.