The Mystery of Suffering

One of the mysteries of life is suffering.  No one likes suffering.  No one.  It’s awful.  It’s painful.  It hurts.  It’s lonely.  It’s just one of the awful things that we go through in life.

That we go through in life.

That we all go through in life.

All of us.  Me.  You.  All of us.  It’s part of the human condition. It’s part of the human experience.  It’s part of something that every last one of us walks through.  And it’s not just us.  It’s something out God, through Jesus Christ, went through.  Listen to what we read today in Mark 8:31-33:

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

3632426859_70b61ae665_b2Jesus teaches the Disciples that He must undergo suffering.  He had to.  It was part of God’s plan. It was part of His purpose on the Earth.  To suffer.  To die. And to be raised.  To ascend. And to one day return.

But to get to the good stuff (Easter, Ascension, Return), He had to go through the bad stuff (betrayal, mockery, and the cross).

The divine mystery of suffering.  I don’t fully understand it.  I really don’t like it. And I wish that I could keep those I love from going through it.

But in this world there is trouble and pain and hurt. And instead of running away from our suffering, part of the divine mystery is that God, through Jesus, entered into it with us.  So, even when we suffer, remember this.

God walks with us through it.  He has tasted it our pain, our loss, our hurt.  He has hurt as we hurt and wept as we weep.  We do not suffer alone.

And in some way, perhaps ways that we don’t understand right now, and may never fully understand, God will bring something good out of it. What is it?  I don’t know. But I know out of the suffering of the cross, God brought the empty grave.  I know out of this pain that we go through, God will bring something good out of it.

The power of God is not that He stops bad things from happening. The power of God is that He can bring good out of anything.

In suffering, we hold on.  He gives us grace. And we trust.

Today, to all those that are suffering, we pray peace.  And mercy. And strength. And hope.  May you feel the arms of your saviour wrapped tight around you, whispering you are not alone.  And may you feel and see His church walking with you every step of the way.

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