Suffering Solutions

We all deal with difficult things at one time or another. The difficulty of those things depends on our perception. Some will see any inconvenience as being extreme suffering while others only see suffering if the damage is extreme. The best way to diminish our feeling of suffering is to be around someone worse than we are. We feel fortunate that we don’t have it as bad as they do.
I can remember visiting a nursing facility where a lady had arthritis so bad that she had surgery on all the joints in her hand and had a wire loop sticking out of every knuckle and joint. Simple movement was difficult. She never complained. She was always happy for the visit and to talk. Whatever problems I thought I had melted away in the light of her suffering. She downplayed any pain she was in. It took away all my reason for complaining and I felt fortunate to be able to walk out of there and not be in pain. I still remember her as the standard for feeling like I deserve any pity.
It will be hard to complain to Noah about a flood in your neighborhood that came in your house. It will be hard to complain to Daniel about the dogs barking all night when he spent a night with lions. There is always someone with a worse story. What if God answered our prayers about our suffering by showing us someone worse? Would that make us realize that what we call suffering is in relation to what we think life should be? We feel cheated and deprived because we wanted something better and we expected God to give it to us.
The real way God deals with suffering is to send someone to pay for suffering we have caused. We caused the suffering of Jesus by our sin. His death on a cross and all the harsh treatment was because he chose to take on our suffering. When we go against God it can cause suffering. Most of our suffering is because of us. If we realized God would make someone else suffer to get us out of our situation, would it change the way we pray? Suffering is a shared experience and God is always there to allow solutions when we understand the solution may be us.
Friday, October 12, 2018

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