What does it mean to suffer? Webster’s Dictionary states it as the following: 1a: to submit to or be forced to endure <suffer martyrdom> b: to feel keenly : labor under <suffer thirst> 2: Undergo, experience 3: to put up with especially as inevitable or unavoidable 4: to allow especially by reason of indifference. So what does that mean anyway and how does it apply to me?
Suffering is a dilemma I struggle with daily. Watching the struggles of those I love is hard to do, knowing I can do nothing physically to alleviate their pain. The emotional toll that suffering takes on a human being is enormous. I relate it to a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, good days and bad, depending on which loop it is on at the moment.
Before my husband’s last surgery, I thought I would scream! Would it ever end? The man is tough but he is not invincible and he is suffering. Why? He loves the Lord with all his heart. What could he have possibly done to deserve this?
It was a little ironic that his thirty-fifth surgery hit on Easter weekend. I was asking myself that question right when I was remembering Jesus Christ’s suffering and sacrifice. It is truly amazing how God works, isn’t it?
The Holy Spirit gave me this scripture to give suffering a little context.
Romans 5:3-5: Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Oh, I still hate the roller coaster ride but I know I am not alone. I have an almighty God on my side and He will give us the strength to get through whatever lies ahead.
Thank You, Father God.