Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reflections on suffering

I pray for those who lost their lives in the Ukraine today.  I can only imagine what their loved ones are going through.  Why would anyone do this I wish I knew?  Why do people suffer?  I wrote about it not long ago and I believe that there are many reasons why we suffer.  I think that many people cause their own suffering through bad choices.  Others are like Job, who was a godly man, yet Satan inflicted upon him illness and grave loss.  Yet Job remain faithful.  Job is a lesson that we all need from.  This book is something I can somewhat, relate to.  I feel like at times I am suffering though I have much to be grateful for.  I never really thought I could reflect on suffering but I have never learned to rejoice in suffering.  How can that be done?

How do I count it all joy in the midst of suffering?  I guess to die to the flesh is to gain Jesus Christ, our Savior.  I believe that is how I count it all joy.  I never thought about that until now.  I have a heart, example, for those persecuted in other countries and it amazes me how much they are suffering.  It is sad yet awe-inspiring at the same time.  Here are people willing to die for Jesus yet many in America are dying another death, which is a spiritual one.  We are dying in the Spirit but are still alive in the flesh, which is a sad, backwards way to live.

I felt like my suffering comes in the form of fear and anxiety.  I have issues that I face, but sometimes I don't realize that there are others who have bigger crosses to bear than I do.  I am reminded of those who cannot get out of bed because they are obese, paralyzed, depressed, and have AIDS and cancer.  I pray for strength in those times and that people who are obese will get healthy as well for those with cancer, MS, and AIDS.  My hope is that I have a heart for others and not only think of myself and my issues, which are minor compared to those who are truly suffering.

There are people who don't seem to have a care in the world.  However, though they may be smiling on the outside, they are probably miserable on the inside.  They, unlike me, are good at hiding whatever pain and anguish they are going through.  I am reminded of a poem that was written years ago.  It was about a man who was nice enough and seemed to have it all, but one day he killed himself.  That was so startling.  There was no explanation as to why he killed himself.  It was just that he put a bullet through his brain.  He must have felt great pain and thus, was in a dark place to commit suicide.

At the risk of sounding selfish, I have much to be thankful for.  There are others who are suffering far worse and even in the midst of suffering count it all joy.  They don't hide their pain, but they know that there is Help along the way.  They have a greater reward and they see it.  They reflect on it and most of all, they live it.  To me, those are the real role models.
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