What’s the Good of Suffering??

Posted: March 6, 2015 in World On The Edge

file0001888333711What does a runner look like when he finally spies the finish line of a 5K race? Isn’t he or she perspiring profusely, panting out breaths, his heart pounding, muscles aching. He’s so close to the finish line, he knows he won’t quit. A little bit more, and then—it’s done. He’s over! He’s put in the work. He suffered through the race. Soon, his breathing quiets, his perspiration dries, his heart stops pounding, his muscles loosen. There is more than just a smile reflected upon his face.

What does a painting look like when the artist begins? Only a line, more lines, colors washing every which way. He doesn’t like it. He wipes it off. He begins again. Lines and color come together until–finally, he has what he wants. He’s created beauty. And he smiles, too.

What does a woman giving birth look like when she’s in labor? An oversized body groaning, crying, pushing, shouting. And then–finally, it’s over. A new human life is laid on her breast. Her child. And she smiles, too.

The point is there is more to be seen in each of these particular events than the suffering or hard work or frustration. In time, we see personal accomplishment, the creation of something beautiful, and most miraculous, the emergence of human life–be it brand new, or only renewed.

There’s more to be seen in the struggles of our individual lives as well. Maybe we’re concentrating on the hard work, frustration, or suffering, and there’s the chance of giving up. But if we hang in there, if we give it our best–in time, we’ll see that our life is emerging too–into something better.

Have Faith in that.

“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.”
–Tim Keller, Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering.

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