We have all suffered in this life, so nobody has been saved from pain. But then, at an appointed time, our self-concept for suffering extrapolates tenfold. Exponentially it seems we are plunged into a season of unparalleled and tormenting darkness, and down into the dungeon of despair we go—and at the time, we do not know for how long.
If we are fortunate we have not experienced such a raw suffering until we are mature adults, in our 30s—as I was when I first suffered. Many, however, are forced to endure this sort of experience of a season of pain, memories of which linger, much earlier or for longer.
But, there is a gift out of such an experience. It’s the gift of the knowledge of God; the proximity of closeness to him who heals and saves.
But this gift is only accessible to those who draw near to God, for those who run far from the only Source of true comfort will never derive true comfort.
What Purpose Is There in This Pain?
We can endure much if there is a purpose in it, but where our purpose becomes vacuous our despair reaches a whole new and unbearable level.
There is always a purpose in the suffering that God, has for this time and situation, allowed in our lives. God did not bring it, nor does he test us these ways, but the Lord has faith in our ability to contend by faith.
Not only is there strength to continue, one day at a time, but there is gain at the end, so far as character development is concerned. It takes faith to see, beforehand, that the journey was worthwhile all along. We can trust the voices of the saints, whom advise a stoic resilience to keep going along the tremulous journey with God.
To keep going is a blessing in the process and a blessed outcome.
To keep going, when we want to quit, and everything within us is saying “it’s not worth it,” is evidence of character, and character is the only thing we will take to heaven with us. Character is the only worthwhile prize this side of eternity.
We see here, that in our tormented struggle, where we are betwixt and between many confused poles, that being here is the very process winning us to character development.
When we keep going, despite the voices in our heads and heaviness in our hearts that says “give up,” we have the way for both continuing on and completing our goal. Not one breath of suffering is wasted when we consider it takes our faithfulness of trust to rightly redeem God’s faithfulness. Our Lord blesses us when we suffer well by growing our characters more in the likeness of Jesus.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.