No one wants to suffer. No one chooses to suffer. But, it surely seems, none of us can escape suffering. And, suffer… we all do.
Some might say, I have had more than a fair share of suffering and perhaps you have too…?
My son, who died of an overdose also suffered daily, in many ways.
This is his art work – his hands drew this from his heart. He could draw the pain because he knew pain well. Suffering is always painful.
I do not know how you deal with it, but this is how I endure suffering:
I look in the garden; I don’t mean at the flowers.
I look toward the hill; I don’t mean the rolling green ones.
I look at the thorns and the torn flesh and the nails and the blood.
In Gesthemene; Toward Golgatha.
I look directly at Jesus praying, then on the cross dying. He is my example for how to endure suffering.
Weeping, crying, nauseous with grief, whispering and wailing, praying. He suffered, and I suffer. Most times, the pain is more than I can bear.
I endure suffering by calling out to the One who suffered more than any one of us has; because, He knows.
There, at the foot of the cross, I look beyond the cross, at what held Him there, and I see the Hope that is promised.
- Hope of a future that is good (“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11).
- Hope that this suffering will pass (“You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away” Job 11:16)
- Hope that there will be joy in the morning (“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” Psalm 30:5b). .
It’s simple actually.
I just look at Jesus, face to face, and I am held too.
My pain may not dissipate, but it becomes bearable.
The suffering may continue, but I am not consumed by it.
Here I stand. At the foot of the cross. And I have hope.
Will you come stand with me?