As I consider what life was like before my first bout of loss and grief I have no doubt I struggled for good reason. Life before loss and grief was a prideful existence, full of wanton opportunism, and a lack of true care for others, including myself. Don’t get me wrong; I wanted to care. But I had no clue what real love was.
Before I suffered loss and grief (prior to 2003) I didn’t know how to love enduringly and patiently. My love was a more selfish, self-motivated love. After I suffered I found the motive to love was the meaning of life.
Suffering proved the growing ground in my case, and I know that’s a fact both biblically, and in others’ lives also. Three palpable evidences of how the suffering in loss and grief makes life afterwards a more prosperous experience than the more comfortable state it was before.
Three proofs prove that suffering makes life better, afterwards — after recovery from loss. Having suffered, yet having not succumbed to the hopelessness of it, we came to acknowledge that suffering showed us a better way to life.
Suffering opened our eyes us to the vast sufferings everywhere. Suddenly our senses were assaulted with a truth God sees all the time; the world is littered in suffering. Having had our eyes opened, then the eyes of our heart were opened. And the key to it all was that suffering came into our lives like a flash flood. It vanquished all thought of escape. We were captivated in a tomb of inconsolable torment so that we would be compelled to reach out for God.
What seems absurd to us when we’re stuck in a worldly schema is absolutely true. Being forced into suffering through loss and grief is destined to make us better, if we believe that grief can be learned from.
Life before loss and grief was less of a life. Life afterward is the abundant life.
God shows us meaning in our suffering when he releases us to the abundant life because of the humility we’ve learned in it.
In the meantime we must ply our faith during the worst days to simply bear up patiently under the pain.
Faith is indispensible in situations of suffering, because it acts as if there’s perspective at a time when there’s no perspective at all.
Faith makes it possible to suffer greatly in the hope of deliverance. And having recovered, faith ushers in virtue as compensation for what was suffered.
Suffering forces us to grow in compassion and kindness and grace. See, there is purpose in suffering.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.