Sunday, September 13, 2009

On Suffering

If the Lord should give you power to raise the dead, He would give much less than He does when he bestows suffering. By miracles you would make yourself debtor to Him, while by suffering He may become debtor to you. And even if sufferings had no other reward than being able to bear something for that God who loves you, is not this a great reward and a sufficient remuneration? Whoever loves, understands what I say. - Saint John Chrysostom (347-407)

Suffering is a topic that we, especially in this country don't like to think about or experience. We do everything we can to avoid suffering, from self medication to avoidance to all manner of odd practices. What we have forgotten I think is that suffering is gift.

God sends suffering into our lives for a reason. If we look at it that way then it should change how we encounter the trials and tribulations in our lives. I don't mean that we should all go out looking for pain or living with pain when we do have the ability to medically take the pain away, but we should not look upon suffering as something to be avoided at all costs.

Old St John Chrysostom was wise in that way. There are great rewards for those who learn from the gift of suffering that God sends.

What have you learned from the suffering in your life?


Teresa said...

I learned that you can learn from it and I learned compassion. I learned to face things I never wanted to even think about facing and I learned that God took our hands and walked slowly through it with us and sent many many people to walk along with us too. I learned that he never really left us alone and I learned that God also somehow makes helps even little children somehow smile with courage even when they don't know why they are hurts and to seem to have a trust that is unexplainable. is always something that we sort of fight off, but I have a deep sense that I'll know He's present in other sufferings..I've just got to hold on, if that makes sense..we hold on.

Suzanne said...

Oops..the above comment was from me..I was not sign back in on my computer. Sorry about that. Suz