As I am reading through the book of Job I find myself challenged in many ways. One particular situation has obviously become illuminated in my mind, suffering. Suffering is followed by so many questions that have been pondered and debated for many years as to why, who causes suffering, and how should we deal with it. Now, here is a disclaimer: I am not omniscient and do not have this all figured out, but here are a few thoughts that I have recorded that have changed the way I think about suffering.
In my heart of compassion I always am looking for ways to help those around me who are suffering. If someone is struggling in their marriage or needing help managing their finances or dealing with a loss of some kind, I am always prone to do something to alleviate their pain and suffering. Its a great intention but sometimes not the best practice. Job’s friends shot off all kinds of thoughts, counsel, and ideas that they thought would fix Job’s problems. However, in reality they had no idea what God was up to. God had a plan for Job and was totally in control at every moment. Job said it himself, “we take the good days from God, why not the bad days too.” There is always a reason, sometimes and perhaps most times, we do not understand it. It may help to train our minds to think, “What can I get out of this?” instead of “How can I get out of this?” We need to mourn with those who are mourning and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Shared suffering is dignifying and can produce life-changing results. There is no short cut to success and there are no short cuts to anything worth waiting for. Today, let us rejoice in our sufferings and look for God to lead us through.