Monday, February 24, 2014

Suffering and the value of it for us!

There is a saying "I complained because I had no shoes and then I saw a man with no feet."
  I have found in my almost 70 years that even when I feel I am in tune with God, an object lesson teaches me a lot - like recently I suffered (and still am suffering to an extent) an extremely painful injury - a strained or torn ligament in the knee - I was complaining because I could "only walk a block" and around the house and then, suddenly, I couldn't walk at all.  I immediately thought of a Stephen ministry care receiver whom I was visiting (and still visit over the phone when she has need)... she had a stroke and has a left leg which totally is paralyzed - I was patient with her but felt the electric wheelchair she refused to use, would solve all her problems... until the age of 73, she'd been super able... well when I suddenly couldn't stand up totally and was reliant on a scooter and dragging along on a walker and the few steps to the washroom was a long walk, I got a feel for what she might have been feeling and the scooter did NOT solve all my problems.  As if to punctuate that I was on the right path here, God inspired her to call me the day after I was injured and when I told her about my injury, she said, understandingly, "Oh I so know the feeling!" 

Brings to mind why God allows us to suffer - it softens up our hearts so we can be more empathetic of others and no matter how much we HAVE suffered, each trial brings us closer to having a merciful kind heart.

And why suffering in the long run although it hurts and unfortunately many of us (like me!) are not like the saints who asked for the cross, we can look back in retrospect and actually say that a horrible painful episode was really a blessing because it woke up our hearts in a way they would have never awakened without the episode.  As it says in the Bible...

Ezekiel 36:26: "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart."